U.S. Big Trucks Down 8% in April

Heavy trucks continued a steep decline, while medium-duty sales rose.

Erin Sunde, Industry Analyst

May 12, 2016

2 Min Read
U.S. Big Trucks Down 8% in April

U.S. sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in April fell 8.0% on a daily basis from year-ago, totaling 34,548 units, WardsAuto data shows.

The total was brought down by a 21.9% drop in Class 8 trucks, the largest year-over-year decline since the recessionary conditions in 2009. Sales have been down every month this year, with the 4-month period 10.3% below like-2015. Heavy-truck sales totaled 16,633 units in April.

Only Western Star posted a gain, up 23.7%, but on small volume of 483 units. Mack and Volvo took the greatest downturns in the group, slipping 34.2% and 35.1%, respectively. International (-29.4%), Kenworth (-28.5%) and Peterbilt (-24.7%) also saw double-digit declines. Freightliner showed a smaller drop, -8.5%, allowing its share to grow to 38.2% from 32.6% in April 2015.

Medium-duty trucks outperformed year-ago by 10.1% in April. The 17,915 deliveries brought the year-to-date tally to 70,941, 18.8% higher than same-period 2015.

Class 7 orders reached 5,078 units with a 21.9% gain on prior-year, resulting in the highest volume for the month since 2008. Ford saw a giant leap of 146.9% to 836 trucks, which doubled share to 16.5%. Freightliner’s sales also grew strongly, rising 20.5% to 2,318 units. Hino (-18.5%) and Peterbilt (-3.7%) were the only brands to decline.

Class 6 saw a more modest gain, up 4.6% to 5,058 deliveries. Ford became group leader with a 58.9% increase to 1,746 units. Freightliner fell to second place as sales declined 25.8% to 1,367. Slightly behind in volume was International, growing 11.8% to 1,321 trucks.

Class 5 sales totaled 6,439 units, up 9.6% with mixed results. Ford posted a 12.0% gain and FCA rose 22.2%. Of the smaller-volume brands, only Hino was up from year-ago, rising 21.1%. Class 5 was the best-performing segment for the first four months of the year, up 23.2% with 25,251 deliveries.

Class 4 was the only medium-duty group to come in below year-ago, slipping 4.0% to 1,340 deliveries. A 20.8% increase by Isuzu’s domestic models was countered by its import line, down 41.2%. Ford’s sales rose 68.2%. Mitsubishi Fuso tumbled 75.5%, bringing its share down to 2.0% from 7.9% in same-month 2015.

Year-to-date, medium- and heavy-duty truck sales totaled 139,433, up 2.5%.

The industry closed April with 51,125 Class 8 trucks in stock, equal to an 83-day supply. That compares with 63 days’ supply and 50,043 units year-ago.

Medium-duty inventories rose to a 91-day supply on 60,423 units, higher than the 87 days’ and 52,338 at the end of April 2015. Stocks of Class 4 and 5 trucks were especially high this April, at 110 and 101 days, respectively.

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About the Author(s)

Erin Sunde

Industry Analyst, WardsAuto

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