U.S. Big Trucks Trail 3.3% Behind Last Year

U.S. Big Trucks Trail 3.3% Behind Last Year

Class 8 sales in April fell 13.6% as most of the manufacturers posted large losses.

Despite gains in medium-duty segments, a steep plunge in heavy-duty truck sales pulled U.S. big trucks down 3.3% to 32,019 deliveries in April.

Heavy-duty trucks fell 13.6% on a daily rate basis, as most manufacturers reported losses, WardsAuto data shows. Volume totaled 13,836 units, down from 16,633 year-ago, and pushed year-to-date 2017 sales to 50,773 vehicles, 25.9% below like-2016’s 68,493.

PACCAR’s Peterbilt was the only truck maker in this segment to post a gain, up a mere 1.8% from year-ago on 2,285 units. Sister-brand Kenworth dropped 5.0%, resulting in PACCAR sliding 1.7% overall and losing four percentage points in market share. Daimler’s Freightliner (-18.9%) and Western Star (-7.1%) also posted losses for the month. International fell 15.8% to 1,535 units from April 2016’s 1,893.

Medium-duty truck sales gained 6.3% to 18,183 deliveries. Trailing only 1.0% behind like-2016, year-to-date sales totaled 70,095 compared with 70,768 in like-2016.

Class 7 was the only medium-duty segment to decline in April, dropping 8.6% to 4,469 units. Group leader Freightliner gained 6.4% in sales and 7.5 percentage points in market share with 2,376 units. Runner up was International with a 13.7% rise and 4.6 percentage-point increase in market share. Ford plummeted 76.5% to 189 units from 836 year-ago. A 6.1% spike at PACCAR’s Kenworth wasn’t enough to offset sister-brand Peterbilt’s 20.9% decline.

Except for International’s slight tumble of 0.8%, all manufacturers posted large gains, resulting in a 13.0% surge in Class 6 sales. Peterbilt saw the greatest improvement in the segment with a 263.5% jump in sales, but on small volume of 49 units. Market-share leader Ford grew 12.2%. Freightliner (21.5%) and Hino (23.7%) also posted double-digit gains.

With increases in both domestic and import lines, sales in Class 5 rose 8.7% year-over-year in April. Daimler plunged 68.8% to 61 units from year-ago’s 203. Mitsubishi Fuso’s 149.2% surge couldn’t offset Freightliner’s 74.3% drop. Ford remains group leader with 67.8% market share with 4,466 deliveries. Hino and International’s import lines grew 42.2% and 11.2%, respectively. International’s domestically built units took a 17.3% dive.

With gains from all but one manufacturer, Class 4 sales reached 1,620 units, 25.5% above like-2016. Although having lost market share, Isuzu was up from year-ago with domestics increasing 12.2% and imports 13.9%. Ford was the only truck maker unable to post a gain in April, dropping 34.4% and losing 10.8 points in market share. Daimler soared 415.4% on volume of 134, increasing market share to 2.0% from 0.4%. Hino nearly tripled in volume, from 45 units last April to 118, a 172.8% increase.

Through the first four months of 2017, U.S. sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks totaled 120,868 units, 13.2% below like-2016.

Class 8 inventory totaled 33,554, resulting in 63 days’ supply, down considerably from last year’s 83. Medium-duty truck makers ended the month with 59,911 units in stock, an 86 days’ supply. That compares with 60,423 and 92 days’ supply in like-2016.

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