The company attributed the demand largely to "[c]ontinued strength in North American shale energy markets, [which] generated orders for 1,250 of Greenbrier's higher margin tank cars with a value of approximately $160 million."
It added, "While Greenbrier has aggressively ramped tank car production over the last year in response to strong demand, order activity in the current fiscal year is diversified across a broad range of railcar types, with current tank car orders representing only 30% of all new business since Sept. 1, 2012."
Greenbrier also said it has also received orders in North America and Europe for 1,400 automotive-related products, valued at $140 million. In North America, the Company has received orders for nearly 1,000 automotive racks. Orders for 89-foot flatcars to support the rack deliveries are anticipated later in the fiscal year. In Europe, the company has received orders for more than 400 automotive-related railcars.
""Our enhanced manufacturing flexibility allows Greenbrier to meet the needs of the booming automotive market while maintaining our competitive position in other railcar types like intermodal double stack, gondolas, forest products and covered hoppers where we have historic strength," said William A. Furman, Greenbrier's president and chief executive officer. "Forest products cars like boxcars and lumber flat cars are now benefitting from recovery in the construction sector."
"We have also responded to the spike in demand for tank cars for the energy market, targeting an annual build rate in North America of about 3,800 cars per year by December 2013. The increased rate of tank car production will drive higher volumes and margins in our manufacturing segment, especially in the second half of our current fiscal year. During our 2012 fiscal year, production of tank cars was approximately 1,000 units. We expect to be building over 300 tank cars per month at the end of this calendar year," Furman added.
Citing the active market for frac sand cars and tank cars to address energy-related needs, Furman said, "We have responded to burgeoning demand in the energy sector by delivering over 11,000 hopper and tank cars with a value of nearly $1 billion in the past 3 years. In 2013, we will begin selling railcars to transport plastic pellets for which we anticipate strong demand in 2014 and 2015."