Features International News — 16 July 2019

Heavy duty truck orders have stalled in the USA in recent months dropping close to 66 per cent in the first six months of 2019 compared with the same period last year.

The drop makes this year the worst start to US truck sales since the post GFC result in 2010.

However analysts say that part of the reason. For the plunge has been the fact that last year’s record orders have created a hangover for this year in the heavy duty class 8 category.

There is still a significant backlog in the order bank and truck operators arent rushing to order more trucks until the ones they have signed up fro are delivered.

However a degree of uncertainty in the US economy is starting to put pressure the truck industry with both operators and truck makers feeling the pinch.

The Trump administration tariff threats and trade disputes are  causing uncertainty and making truck makers reluctant to quote prices because material costs may change significantly if tariffs are levied on certain items. The tariff uncertainty has  really spooked the industry.

The result is that until the tariff situation is resolved, makers are unwilling to take the risk on quoting prices for 2020 while operators Fleets are also reluctant to accept potential extra costs with so much ambiguity present.

The contradiction is that  the US economy and freight movements are in a growth phase but manufacturing data is not promising.

Although consumers are still buying things analysts are expecting freight to grow moderately for the the rest of 2019.

The y believe that heavy duty class 8 truck build rate will drop in coming months as the order banks diminish and are not added to by new orders.

Its not all doom and gloom as daily production and retail sales remain strong and analysts estimate heavy-duty truck production will  top 340,000 units this year. However that will drop about 21 per cent next year to around 275,000 in 2020.

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