OEM rebound comes early

Detroit Diesel Corp.said today that it has recalled 200 workers in the past few months to increase production for the Series 60 engine, a sign that aggressive deals by OEMs are paying off more than expected in the first quarter. Analyst Martin Labbe of Ormond Beach, FL-based Martin Labbe Associates said the rebound truck manufacturers expected to see this year will come sooner than expected. "With low interest rates and OEMs cutting aggressive deals, if you have to replace trucks in the next six months, you may as well buy them now," Labbe said. Mark Bara, vp - on highway engine sales for Detroit Diesel, said his company has received orders from several hundred fleets, and that the order backlog exceeds 11,000 engines. However, Labbe said the production backlog was forced because of deals cut by OEMs, which means the numbers seen now will steal from 2Q and 3Q volumes. Bara said two shifts have resumed and line rates are set at 70 daily for each shift.

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