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U.S. Big Trucks End Year Up 3.5%

U.S. Big Trucks End Year Up 3.5%

Class 8 sales fall 0.2% in 2017 while all other classes post gains.

U.S. medium- and heavy-duty truck sales hit 43,534 in December, 24.3% above year-ago’s 36,365. With seven months of consecutive year-over-year gains, big trucks ended the year at 415,042 units, 3.5% ahead of like-2016’s 400,996.

Class 8 sales posted a 48.5% gain, a third December best, to 22,355. The push wasn’t enough to equal last year’s total of 192,662, with 2017 falling 0.2% short to 192,252. Segment leader Freightliner almost doubled its volume, reaching 8,504 deliveries and accounting for a 38.0% market share. Volvo was the only truck maker in the group to underperform in December, down 12.8%, outweighing sister brand Mack’s 5.8% gain. That left Volvo Truck down 4.5% for the month.

Medium-duty truck sales totaled 21,179, a 6.1% bump compared with year-ago’s 20,736, ending the year up 6.9% at 222,790 deliveries. All medium-duty classes exceeded 2016 sales, topped by Class 4’s 30.7% increase to 18,690 deliveries.

Class 7 deliveries jumped 14.1% with large volume gains from Freightliner (+27.9%), Ford (+65.2%) and Kenworth (26.6%). Freightliner accounted for a 46.7% market share for the year and ended 2.5% above year-ago with 29,256 units.

Class 6 was the only sector to finish below year-ago. Deliveries totaled 5,385 units, down 5.0%. Segment-leader Ford was the main downward force, with sales plummeting 39.3% from 2,883 units to 1,685. Runner-up Freightliner’s 49.0% bounce to 1,640 units wasn’t enough to offset Ford’s decline. Chevrolet’s LCF entered Class 6 for the first time in December with 7 units. Freightliner also clinched the No.1 spot in this class for the year with a 32.9% market share.

Class 5 pulled off a 3.7% gain thanks to Ford’s 10.0% jump to 4,846 units and Hino’s 79.1% spike to 564. These gains offset FCA’s 15.0% plunge to 1,705 units. Ford held the No.1 spot in the class all year long, ending with a 63.0% market share and 9.9% gain over 2016.

Class 4 continued to outperform any other class with demand jumping 30.3% to 2,328 trucks. Last month marked the best December since 2009 when 2,519 trucks were delivered. Hino was the only truck maker to decline, falling 8.5% below last year with 104 units. Mitsubishi Fuso saw the greatest improvement, soaring 710.0% from 15 to 117 units. For the year, Ford claimed first place with a 24.3% rise in sales and a 15.4% market share. With domestics and imports climbing 700.6% and 469.2%, respectively, GM grew from a 1.7% market share in 2016 to 9.3% in 2017.

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