FTR has raised its 2019 forecast for Class 8 trucks and commercial trailers. North American Class 8 factory shipments are now forecast to be 350,000 units in 2019, up 8% y/y, and U.S. commercial trailer production (not including medium-duty lowbeds) to be 310,000 units, just under this year’s expected volume. FTR’s medium duty (Class 4-7) forecast has not changed, and factory shipments are expected to be relatively flat next year.
Class 8 orders set a record during 2018 Q3, pushing backlogs almost 7% higher than the previous record. Trailer orders smashed the monthly record in September by almost 10,000 units, and backlogs are barely below the all-time high.
Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles commented, “We increased our forecasts for 2019 based on our models indicating continued strong freight growth generating robust demand for equipment through Q3 of next year. OEM component suppliers have also done a much better job delivering on time, allowing production rates to increase. If this continues, we expect a record Class 8 build in 2019 for a year not impacted by a pre-buy. Trailers could also set a record, if sales are steady through the end of the year.”
For more than two decades, FTR has been the thought leader in freight transportation forecasting in North America. The company’s national award-winning forecasters collect and analyze all data likely to impact freight movement, issuing consistently reliable reports for trucking, rail, and intermodal transportation, as well as providing demand analysis for commercial vehicle and railcar. FTR’s forecasting and specially designed reports have resulted in advanced planning and cost-savings for companies throughout the transportation sector.