LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. [NYSE:GBX] announced today that it received new orders in January, February, and March for 5,400 railcar units valued at approximately $575 million.
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These orders are broad-based across a range of railcar types including automotive-related rail products, tank cars, double-stack intermodal platforms, boxcars and various types of covered hopper cars. Continued strength in energy and industrial chemical markets led to orders for nearly 2,700 of Greenbrier's higher margin tank cars. The Company also received orders for over 700 automotive-related rail products including 89-foot flatcars and the Company's proprietary Multi-Max™ auto racks in North America, and for open and closed car carriers in Europe. The remaining orders are for double-stack intermodal platforms, boxcars, mill gondola cars and covered hopper cars, including an initial order for the Company's new plastic pellet car.
The new orders are in addition to the orders for 4,200 railcars valued at $430 million reported in Greenbrier's press release dated January 7, 2013. Since September 1, 2012, the beginning of the fiscal year, Greenbrier has received orders for nearly 9,600 railcars in North America and Europe valued at over $1 billion, consisting of approximately 4,000 tank cars, 2,100 automotive-related flatcars or racks, and with the balance across a broad range of other railcar types.William A. Furman, president and chief executive officer of Greenbrier said, "Our railcar manufacturing strategy is to diversify our new railcar product offerings, to reduce reliance on a single commodity or railcar type at any given time and to benefit from growth in demand for various railcar types, including tank cars, frac sand cars, and plastic pellet cars for the rapidly expanding North American energy and chemicals markets. This strategy continues to bear fruit. As these orders demonstrate, we are able to flexibly and nimbly respond to emerging trends and to our customers' varied railcar needs with a flexible and geographically diverse manufacturing footprint." TANK CARS Furman also noted, "The strength in the energy markets continues to produce strong demand for our higher margin tank cars. Industry forecasts indicate tank car demand is expected to continue to be robust through 2015, and then settle back to baseline levels. We continue to ramp up our tank car production to meet this demand. By the end of calendar year 2013, we expect to be at an annual production rate of about 3,800 tank cars, nearly four times our fiscal 2012 production. Industry forecasts also indicate the rebounding economy and independent growth in certain commodities will continue to drive increasing demand for non-energy related railcars including intermodal, forest products, automotive, covered hopper and other car types where Greenbrier has been historically strong."