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ACT Research: U.S. Trailer OEMs Continue to Carefully Control Tight Orders

March 28, 2022, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Trucking

February net U.S. trailer orders of 27,041 units increased about 1 percent from the previous month and were 6 percent higher compared to February of 2021. Before accounting for cancellations, new orders of 28,100 units were virtually unchanged versus January, but up almost 3 percent from the previous February, according to this month’s issue of ACT Research’s State of the Industry: U.S. Trailer Report.

 “Tight order control, bordering on order allocation, continues to be the norm for the industry. While demand for equipment continues at a torrid pace, OEMs are carefully metering orders to production levels,” said Frank Maly, Director–CV Transportation Analysis and Research at ACT Research. “Small fleets and dealers continue to struggle to obtain equipment, as discussions point toward larger players willing to make large volume commitments.”

Maly added, “Some reports indicate that fleets are willing to make sizeable commitments that would extend well into 2023, but it seems OEMs are not particularly willing to push the orderboard to those extremes. Support from the supply chain, as OEMs attempt to ramp output, will be the controlling factor on any order surge.”

He concluded with a discussion of the backlog-to-build ratio, saying, “OEMs have kept this metric in a tight range between 7.4 months and 8.4 months since June. However, February’s 8.1-month level commits the industry into early November, and we will soon be approaching a backlog-to-build ratio that will extend into the new year, where new model years and new pricing commitments could complicate order acceptance.”

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