While Class 8 truck orders were stable in February, it doesn’t mean good news for future production.
OEMs are not confident that the supply chain will improve in the short term, so they are controlling the number of official orders very carefully, keeping backlogs at a manageable level. OEMs continue to book fleet requirements a portion at a time in order to not overbook their production schedules, FTR reported.
North American Class 8 net orders held steady in February, coming in at between 21,000 to 21,100 units, according to ACT Research and FTR, respectively, and meeting expectations. The order level for February was down 2% month over month and down 53% year over year, according to FTR.
Backlogs should not change that much since February order numbers are close to the forecasted production rate. The stability in the backlogs indicates the industry is content holding the number at the current level. Backlogs were very stable in 2021 and it is estimated that February backlogs will only be 4% higher than in April 2021.
“The steady order numbers do not reflect at all the huge demand for new trucks,” Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR, said in a press release. “There is a severe shortage of new and used trucks and the economy continues to generate steady freight growth in all segments. Even with the recent stagnant booking volumes, orders for the last twelve months are at an impressive 320,000 units.”
Class 8 orders have totaled 320,000 units over the last twelve months.