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Heavy-duty truck orders up in March, but 'still dismal' — FTR Associates


Total net orders of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks from major North American original equipment manufacturers rose in March from February’s level, but order activity still isn’t anything to write home about, according to data issued late last week by freight transportation forecasting firm FTR Associates.

Last month, orders rose to 8,594 units, a 26 percent compared with February’s total, according to FTR, whose numbers include orders in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as exports. But the March total represented a 44 percent decline vs. March 2008 orders, according to FTR’s preliminary data.

“We did see an increase in orders in March, which is of course positive news following the very low numbers which came in for January and February,” FTR President Eric Starks said in an April 3 press release. “However, the annualized rate of incoming Class 8 orders through March is still dismal. FTR does not see a sustainable rebound in Class 8 order activity for the foreseeable future. The industry and economic environment just doesn’t support increased fleet equipment purchases.”

— By Desiree J. Hanford. A Chicago-based free-lance writer, Hanford covered the equities market, including transportation, for Dow Jones & Co. for 10 years.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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