FTR reports preliminary trailer orders for April remained subdued for the second consecutive month, coming in at 13,200 units, which is 40% below the same month in 2018.
However, the low order level does not reflect a softening of demand, FTR said, but rather the fact that many large OEMs have filled their order boards for 2019. Backlogs remain hefty, with robust production levels.
Trailers orders for the past 12 months now total 364,000 units.
“We expect the backlogs to remain very healthy, supporting continued high build rates,” said Don Ake, FTR vice president of commercial vehicles. “Orders likely will stay at low volumes through the summer, or until OEMs open the 2020 order boards. OEMs have been cautious about taking longer-term orders due to uncertainty over future costs.
“Right now, the Chinese tariff situation is just adding to an already cloudy outlook.”