Ftr Class 8 March

FTR: Class 8 orders remain restricted in March

April 11, 2022
Preliminary North American tally of 21,500 units reflects ‘a market frozen in place,’ according to industry analyst

FTR reports North American Class 8 net orders for March stayed within the tight range of the past several months, coming in at 21,500 units.

The preliminary order number is up 3% month-over-month, and down 47% year-over-year.

Orders have varied less than 400 units a month for 2022, with March activity close to the average of 21,300 for the previous seven months, FTR said. Class 8 orders have totaled 300,000 units over the last 12 months.

OEMs are content to book orders a month at a time, just under current production rates, and keep total backlogs in check. Orders are expected to hover around this range until OEMs have confidence in improved future supply chain performance. Demand for new trucks remains robust but production has been significantly restricted by shortages of semiconductors and other components. Labor shortages at the OEMs and suppliers also remain an issue.

“The March order total reflects a market frozen in place,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles for FTR. “All the OEMs are evaluating the business environment monthly and only entering enough orders to fill in about a month’s worth of production in the schedule. March’s number indicates that production levels stayed flat.

“This trend began seven months ago and has not varied much. Once supply chain issues improve, OEMs will be able to substantially increase orders. But until then, conditions remain stagnant. Several automakers recently announced computer chip supplies remain tight, but there are still expectations of supply chain improvements in the second half of the year.”

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