U.S. Big Truck Deliveries Up 11.1% in March

U.S. Big Truck Deliveries Up 11.1% in March

Big truck sales were driven by the large gain by Class 8, which posted a 26.4% jump vs. year-ago. 

U.S. big-truck sales grew 11.1% to 40,519 deliveries in March, the month’s highest result since 50,987 were delivered in 2006.

Class 8 saw the greatest improvement for the month, increasing 26.4% to 19,384 compared to year-ago’s 14,793. Daimler’s Western Star was among the truck makers to drop in sales, down 3.4% for the month. Sister brand Freightliner easily made up the difference, jumping 36.0% on high volume. Mack dipped 20.4% but Volvo’s 28.5% gain kept parent company Volvo in the clear, up 3.9%.

Through March, Class 8 sat 36.8% above year-ago with 50,529 units compared to like-2017’s 36,937.

Medium-duty truck sales grew a modest 0.1% with three of the four segments posting negatives for the month. Despite little growth in March, year-to-date sales were 6.1% ahead of 2017 at 55,071.

Sales in Class 7 dropped 1.5%. Market leader Freightliner’s 5.6% growth helped offset International’s 25.4% decline. PACCAR’s Kenworth trailed year-ago by 22.5% but sister brand Peterbilt made up for it with a 34.4% boost.

Class 6 sales also fell, dropping 9.4% with Ford (-8.4%), Freightliner (-25.4%) and International (-7.7%) posting losses.

Class 5 was the only medium-duty truck group to increase in volume, jumping 13.8% to 7,302 from 2017’s 6,189. Ford climbed 32.3% from 3,520 units to 4,828 and market share grew to 66.1%. Runner-up FCA plummeted 34.7% dropping to 1,229 units. Freightliner soared 753.8% from 48 to 425 units.

Ford’s 26.8% boost in March sales wasn’t enough to offset the declines seen by Isuzu’s domestic (-2.8%) and import (-8.5%) lines, resulting in Class 4 overall sales falling 2.5%.

U.S. big-truck sales combined rose 18.9% in the first quarter, compared with prior-year, to 105,600 units.

Class 8 had a 57 days’ supply at the end of March (39,370), down from year-ago’s 60 (32,766). Medium-duty days’ supply fell to 77 (57,982) from 81 (60,781).

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