Preliminary December Class 8 truck net orders surged to 31,506 units, an increase of 50% over November, and the first month orders have been above 30,000 since April 2011, according to FTR Associates.

2013 is the highest December total in eight years with a 51% year-over-year improvement. December order activity boosted the annualized rate for the past six-month period to 269,000 units. Preliminary order numbers are for all major North American OEMs.

"Orders were exceptionally strong in December,” said Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles. “Order activity was well-balanced across sectors and manufacturers. The strong showing puts OEMs on track to meet first quarter targets and provides momentum headed into the second quarter.

“Fleets and dealers are showing more optimism.  This is a very welcome sign and good news for the industry.  One thing to note is that when you look at orders over the last two months, it shows an average of 26,200 units and is exactly in line with what our expectations were for orders just a few months ago." 

Final data for December will be available from FTR later in the month as part of its North American Commercial Truck & Trailer Outlook service. To contact FTR, send an email to sales@ftrintel.com or call (888) 988-1699 ext. 1.