FTR has released preliminary data showing December Class 8 truck net orders surged to 31,506 units, a significant jump of 50% from the previous month, and the first month orders have been above 30,000 since April 2011.
2013 is the highest December total in eight years with a 51% year-over-year improvement. December order activity boosted the annualized rate for the past six-month period to 269,000 units.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles, commented: "Orders were exceptionally strong in December. Order activity was well balanced across sectors and manufacturers. The strong showing puts OEM’s on track to meet first quarter targets and provides momentum headed into the second quarter.
"Fleets and dealers are showing more optimism. This is a very welcome sign and good news for the industry. One thing to note is that when you look at orders over the last two months, it shows an average of 26,200 units and is exactly in line with what our expectations were for orders just a few months ago."