U.S. Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Sales Down 10% in March

The medium-duty sector was saved by gains in Class 4-6.The medium-duty sector was saved by gains in Class 4-6.

Erin Sunde, Industry Analyst

April 13, 2016

2 Min Read
U.S. Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck Sales Down 10% in March

Sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the U.S. totaled 40,323 in March, 2.5% below year-ago on a daily sales basis.

Class 8 posted sales of 20,034 units, down 10.1% from prior-year. Substantial losses by International (-29.1%), Peterbilt (-22.8%) and Volvo (-52.7%) led the decliners.  Daimler’s Freightliner and Western Star outsold last year, leaving the parent company up 16.5%. Mack posted a small gain, growing 1.3%. Year-to-date, Class 8 sales were down 7.1% from like-2015.

Overall medium-duty sales fared better, rising 6.3% to 20,289 units last month. For first-quarter 2016, sales were 20.4% above year-ago.

Class 7 showed the only downturn from prior-year as deliveries slipped 1.1% to 5,126 trucks.  Results were mixed, with double-digit declines by Ford (-63.8%) and International (-14.3%) and double-digit gains by Hino (+35.1%) and Kenworth (+22.0%).

Class 6 reached 6,651 orders, up 12.7%, the second-largest increase of any big-truck sector in the U.S. in March. The jump can be credited to Ford, which saw a 95.1% hike, boosting the brand's share from 22.9% year-ago to 39.7% last month. Kenworth also showed a large spike, 65.1%, but on smaller volume. All other brands in the group were down from March 2015.

Class 5 sales totaled 6,969 units, up 4.1%. Again, there were highly mixed results. Group leader Ford gained 12.5%, while second-place FCA declined 11.7%. Daimler’s Freightliner and Mitsubishi Fuso were down 26.6% and 84.2%, respectively. Hino showed a 63.4% gain.

The most improved segment for the month was Class 4, up 18.5% over last year. Top seller Isuzu posted a domestic sales increase of 5.2% but a 17.2% decline in import sales. International sales plunged 64.6% on small volume of seven units. Ford grew 20.9% to 269 units and Hino sold 320 trucks versus zero last year.

Through March, sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the U.S. were 5.0% higher than last year, reaching unit volume of 104,885.

Class 8 ended March with a 69 days' supply, up from 57 year-ago. Total units in inventory rose to 50,869 from 47,182, WardsAuto data shows.

Medium-duty models had a less dramatic increase in days’ supply, rising to 77 days from 71 in March 2015. A total of  57,981 medium-duty units were in stock at the end of the month, up from 50,394 prior-year.

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About the Author(s)

Erin Sunde

Industry Analyst, WardsAuto

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