The traditional summer Class 8 order slump ended a month early this year as OEMs start filling in their first quarter production slots for prime customers, explains FTR’s Don Ake.
North American Class 8 net orders for August jumped 98% month-over-month to 21,400 units, according to FTR.
“It is interesting that August order totals are so close to the January-March numbers earlier this year. Just like then, OEMs must be careful not to overbook, with the supply chain still not showing much progress,” Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles, said in a press release. “However, order totals are expected to jump in the coming months when all OEMs fill in all the first quarter build slots. The needs of the fleets still greatly outnumber the production capacity of the OEMs under the current restrictions.”
Most OEMs began placing a limited number of orders for the first quarter of 2023. It appears OEMs have returned to the pattern of the first quarter of this year when orders averaged 21,100 units. It is expected that orders will continue to rise next month as additional orders are booked for Q1 deliveries, FTR officials says.
Bookings were down 46% year-over-year versus a robust August in 2021.
“The economy has slowed down and freight growth has eased, but there is still a significant amount of pent-up demand due to the persistent supply chain delays,” Ake said. “Some fleets have run their trucks well past their planned replacement cycles and desperately need new trucks. The industry has responded well to the supply shortages but will need an increase in production in 2023 to begin to balance out.”