New Truck Production Enjoys December Bump

January 10, 2022

Preliminary North American Class 8 net orders recovered to 23,100 units in December. 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. December order activity was +139% m/m but still down y/y at -55% from December 2021. Class 8 orders totaled 365,000 units for 2021.

The December number is positive in the sense that all OEMs entered some orders. 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 commented, “The current order volume still understates the tremendous demand for new trucks. The OEMs have a large number of fleet commitments for 2022. They 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.

“Fleets need a considerable number of new trucks right now. Industry capacity is extremely tight, resulting in elevated freight rates. The carriers have freight to haul and funds available for new trucks, but OEMs can’t build enough. Also, the large fleets have had to run vehicles beyond their trade-in cycles and need replacement trucks.”

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