North American Class 8 net orders in December 2021 recovered to between 22,800 and 23,100 units, ACT Research and FTR reported, respectively.
The December total orders were back in the same range as September and October, following the previous trend of orders being slightly above expected production levels.
“After hitting a [Class 8] cancellation speed-bump in November, orders rebounded to a level just above the second half of 2021 production trend in December,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president and senior analyst, said in a press release. “However, while improved, December’s orders were the second weakest of the year, reflecting ongoing supply-side shortages that continue to constrain production. Importantly, we reiterate, with critical economic and industry demand drivers at, or near, record levels, industry strength is exhibited in long backlog lead-times, rather than in seasonally weak orders.”
Order activity was up 139% month-over-month, but still down year-over-year at 55% from December 2021, according to FTR.
“The December number is positive in the sense that all OEMs entered some orders,” FTR officials said in a press release. “This indicates at least some optimism about improved future supply chain performance. OEMs are content in keeping backlogs at current levels and continue to enter orders a portion at a time due to uncertain supply chain conditions.
Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR, said the current order volume understates the “tremendous demand” for new trucks and the large number of fleet commitments OEMs have in 2022.
“[OEMs] are delaying entering these orders until they know how many they will be able to build each month. Supply chain delays continue to constrain build rates,” Ake said.
Class 8 orders totaled 365,000 units for 2021, FTR reported.