Trailer orders in April were strong, albeit modestly less than expected, according to industry-wide data released by ACT Research.
OEM inventories for dry vans ticked up again, consistent with Wabash National’s guidance on its 1Q call that production would exceed deliveries in 2Q. ACT revised the dry van backlog down 16%.
However, according to Bear Stearns, “We learned from our channel checks that a mid-sized trailer OEM was contemplating bankruptcy. If that's the case, we would view it as beneficial for WNC, which blamed 1Q's weak gross margins largely to irrational pricing from at least one mid-sized competitor.”
Total trailer orders were 20,922 April (vs. Bear Stearns’ 22k-24k forecast and 37,066 in March), up 18% year-on-year (vs. up 67% y/y in March).
Dry van orders were 11,475 in April (vs. 24,848 in March), up 47% y/y (vs. up 56% in March). Flatbed orders (WNC's new area) were down 28% y/y (vs. up 141% y/y in March).