Report: heavy-duty truck orders continue to slide

| 7/3/2002

Figures released July 3 by Bear Stearns, a banking, trading and brokerage firm, indicate net new orders of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks continue to fall sharply as slots for pre-Oct. 1 trucks fill. At the current build rate, the company says it will take five to six months for a new order to be converted into a completed tractor.

In June, net new orders fell 37 percent to 10,400 after falling about 35 percent in May. The company says the continued sequential decline in net new orders reflects the fact that, as of early May, there are no longer available slots left for pre-October trucks.

The firm reports that most of the truckers they have spoken to since new orders began to decline significantly in May, were not surprised at this phenomenon and added that if someone wanted a truck before October they would no longer be able to reserve one if they have not already secured a slot with the manufacturer.

Bear Stearns said it expects net new orders "will stay in the 8,000 to 10,000 range as most large carriers have already ordered and/or received the trucks they will use until the issues surrounding the low-emissions engines have been resolved." The company said that during the coming months, it expects the majority of orders will come from dealers who will take on post-October trucks, but probably be forced to sell them at a discount.