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January Truck Orders Stronger Than Expected

Preliminary data shows North American Class 8 truck orders in January rose more than 300 percent compared to the same month a year ago..

The number vary slightly according to the two major industry research firms reporting the figues.

FTR Associates shows a modest 1 percent increase over strong December activity and a 324 percent improvement from a year ago. FTR shows January Class 8 truck total net orders for all major North American OEMs at 27,009 units, a marked improvement from the 6,400 units ordered one year earlier. Net order activity annualizes to 251,900 units over the last six months, and the prior three months alone at 319,500 Class 8 trucks. The figure includes U.S., Canada, Mexico and Exports.

ACT Research’s readings of the preliminary data shows 27,300 units ordered in January, an increase of 320 percent over last year. The firm notes that preliminary orders are subject to revision and are typically accurate to within 5 percent plus or minus.

“Orders for January came in above expectations,” said Eric Starks, FTR president. “We had anticipated that they would be close to 25,000 units. The continued strong order activity in January adds more fuel to the recovery in the commercial vehicle equipment sector. With the recent sustained higher levels of order activity, 2011 is shaping up to be a very good year especially relative to where we were in 2009.”

Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT, noted, “The industry began 2011 where 2010 left off: After ending 2010 with three strong order months, the trend continued into January. Over the past three months, Class 8 orders have been booked at an annualized rate of 320,000 units. The uptick in orders continues to restock industry backlogs, setting the stage for significant production increases as we move through 2011,” added Vieth.

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