April recorded the largest month-over-month change in 2022. - Graph: FTR

April recorded the largest month-over-month change in 2022.

Graph: FTR

North American Class 8 orders in April fell about 28% month-over-month to between 15,400 and 15,800 units, FTR and ACT Research reported.

This is the largest month-over-month change in 2022 with April’s total 5,900 units less than the average of 21,300 for the previous seven months, FTR officials said in a press release. 

With backlogs largely full for the year, OEM’s have yet to open their order boards for 2023, FTR officials said. OEMs are carefully monitoring their backlogs and continuing to evaluate monthly how far into the future they are willing to push them. 

April’s order total does not reflect the current demand for new trucks, explained FTR Commercial Vehicle Analyst Charles Roth, it does however reflect a market that is trying to minimize its exposure to the headwinds it could potentially face in 2023. 

“As production continues to be significantly impacted by supply chain disruptions, component shortages, labor shortages, and increased material costs, the hesitancy to open 2023 order boards stems from not being able to guarantee pricing given the current environment,” Roth said. “Once supply chain issues improve, OEMs will be able to substantially increase orders. But until then, conditions remain stagnant.”

Key suppliers in the semiconductor industry are pointed to a ‘significant shortage of semiconductor manufacturing capacity this year and next,’ according to Eric Crawford, ACT’s vice president and senior analyst.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the wait time to get machinery for chip making has extended from months to two to three years.

“Meanwhile, demand is showing little sign of ebbing,” WSJ reported. “Chip-industry sales topped $500 billion for the first time last year and should roughly double by the end of the decade.”

Class 8 orders have totaled 280,000 units over the last twelve months.

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