Class 8 truck orders in North America has increased 20% when compared to January 2016. According to an analysis of this January sales data by two leading trucking industry research firms, orders were stronger than expected.
FTR Transportation Intelligence noted that North American orders for Class 8 trucks reached 21,600 in January.
Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR Transportation Intelligence, shared his take on this unexpected growth:
“It is unusual for January orders to be higher than any of the preceding [fourth quarter] months. This indicates fleets are more confident in market conditions than they were four months ago.”
What’s to Come?
While there’s no denying the importance of a strong start to 2017, the trucking industry as a whole, including fleet owners, are more interested in what the future will bring. With more than 10 months left in the year, there’s plenty of time for additional growth.
FTR Transportation Intelligence believes that February will bring more of the same, with the number of builds stronger than previous months.
Robert Christensen, president and chief financial officer of Paccar, has a good beat on the industry. As the owner of both the Peterbilt and Kenworth brands, Paccar and Christensen are more qualified than most to discuss the immediate future of the industry.
During a recent conference call with investors, he said, “I just came back from the North American truck show in New Orleans and dealers are looking optimistically toward the year. It should be a very good year for the truck industry again in 2017.”
With the heavy duty truck business off to a good start in 2017, the trucking industry as a whole has its eyes set on big things over the next 10 months.