Big-truck makers recorded a 27.8% sales increase in March, the best month since May 2012 and the best March since the record year of 2006. Deliveries hit 4,279 units, compared with 3,482 from prior-year, WardsAuto data shows.
Sales in Class 8 were up 34.8%, topping 2,800 units for the first time since October 2014 at 2,883. All manufacturers posted double-digit gains except for Peterbilt, which was down 14.2%. Share leader Freightliner sales spiked 75.1% on 978 units, raising its stake in the segment to 33.9%. Volvo was up 44.5% followed by Mack, up 33.5%. Second- place Kenworth also had a solid month, recording a 20.5% uptick.
Class 7 sales rose 9.7% for the month on mixed results. Hino led all gainers, up 70.4%, while International notched an 11.9% increase. Overall volume was tempered by Ford, which slid 27.2%, and Kenworth, down 25.5%.
Class 6 was the only segment to experience a downturn, slipping 1.7% on volume of 139 units. Top-seller Freightliner’s deliveries nearly doubled, up 80.6%, which was not enough to offset double-digit losses reported by Kenworth, down 79.2%, and International, off 48.8%.
Deliveries in Class 5 were up 16.1%, with the three largest brands posting increases. Share- leader Ford was up 4.9%, FCA posted an 11.4% rise and Hino improved 25.6%. This was enough to offset a 74.0% loss by Kenworth and a 28.7% downturn logged by International.
Class 4 was the best performing segment in March, as deliveries rose 54.6% on 171 units vs. 115 year-ago. Ford continued to dominate the small-volume segment on sales of 105 units, nearly double the 55 it sold last year. Isuzu domestic models were up 472.0% while its domestically sourced trucks fell 94.2%. Mitsubishi Fuso also enjoyed a nice gain, up 87.2% on small volume.