Canadian makers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks posted their best March sales total since 2006 as deliveries of 4,573 units marked a 26.1% rise from like-2017, Wards Intelligence data shows. March also was the 13th consecutive month big trucks recorded a year-over-year increase.
The Class 8 segment led the way with sales of 3,006 units, up 41.3%, as most brands enjoyed year-over-year increases. Volvo Truck outperformed the group with a 48.4% increase, as its Volvo brand was up 128.1%. Sister brand Mack was the only truck maker in the group to post a loss, down 37.7%. Market leader Freightliner also posted strong results, up 55.7% and increasing its share to 31.5%. For the year, Class 8 is up a whopping 36.3% on unit sales of 6,671 vs. 4,894 in 2017.
Overall medium-duty sales were up 4.6% on sales of 1,567 units against 1,445 year-ago, with only a loss in Class 7. For the year, the medium-duty group was up 12.9% on sales of 3,846 units.
Sales in Class 7 dipped 9.0% to 354 units on mixed results in March. PACCAR saw the greatest growth with large gains by Kenworth (+35.0%) and Peterbilt (+130.2%). International dragged the group down, posting a 51.8% loss. Hino also fell 22.9%.
Class 6 saw a modest 2.6% rise in sales on small volume of 100. Ford increased to seven units from just one the prior year. Market leader Hino fell 1.3% to 43 units. Freightliner performed the worst in the group, down 25.5%.
Class 5’s 7.8% increase to 881 units, a best-ever March, was due to a high-volume 11.0% increase by Ford and a 47.2% jump by Isuzu.
Market leader Ford was the only truck maker to lose volume in Class 4, dropping 6.5%. With large gains posted by all other manufacturers, Class 4 grew 19.0% to 232 units.
Through the first quarter, Canada big-truck sales were running 26.7% ahead of like-2017, totaling 10,517 units.