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U.S. Heavy-Duty Trucks Down 26.2% in March

U.S. Heavy-Duty Trucks Down 26.2% in March

With double-digit losses in Class 8, U.S. medium- and heavy-duty trucks drop 12.9%.

U.S. sales of big trucks fell to 35,155 units in March, a 12.9% drop from 2016’s 40,383. This largely was due to the plummet in Class 8 sales, down 26.2% on 14,793 units.

March marked the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year losses for heavy-duty sales, according to WardsAuto data. Volvo increased 11.7% on 1,640 deliveries, the only one in the segment with gains for the month. International performed the worst in the segment, plunging 39.7% to 1,420 units compared to like-2016’s 2,354.

Next was Freightliner with a drop of 37.8% on 5,322 deliveries. Sister brand Western Star also underperformed but dropped only 5.9% on 447 deliveries. PACCAR and Mack also finished with losses of 18.1% and 13.6%, respectively. Year-to-date, Class 8 sales were down 28.8% with 36,937 units, 14,923 behind like-2016.

March medium-duty sales were almost flat with last year, up a meager 0.1% to 20,362 units. Sales for the first quarter totaled 51,912, or 2.1% below same-period 2016.

Class 7 sales totaled 4,940 deliveries, down only 0.9% from same-month 2016’s 4,983. Group leader Freightliner was down 7.9% and saw its market share drop to 48.7% from year-ago’s 52.4%. International climbed 16.9% on volume of 1,288, gaining four percentage points of market share to 26.1%. PACCAR increased a mere 0.9% with Kenworth (-9.0%) and Peterbilt (+9.3%) brands nearly balancing out.

Class 6 was the best-performing group for the month, increasing 10.4% on 7,660 deliveries. International and Freightliner posted large gains of 54.4% and 47.4%, respectively. PACCAR’s Kenworth also had a good month, growing 2.3%. Sister brand Peterbilt underperformed for March, dipping 25.9%, In total, PACCAR fell 1.5% on a total of 197 units.

Sales in Class 5 slid 10.1% to 6,189 units. Daimler’s Mitsubishi Fuso more than doubled in volume, but sister brand Freightliner fell 69.4%. FCA saw a 15.0% increase in volume, but market leader Ford plummeted 17.3%. International saw the biggest decline, from 100 to only 12 units, an 88.0% drop from like-2016.

A 42.9% increase in domestically built sales was just enough to offset a double-digit loss in imports (-37.8%), resulting in Class 4 deliveries gaining 1.9% with 1,573 units. Isuzu’s domestic lineup saw a sales hike, up 45.8%, while the imports sank 36.0%. Hino’s sales fell by half, dropping 49.1% from 320 to 163 units.

Year-to-date U.S. big-truck sales were running 15.3% behind like-2016, totaling 88,849 units compared to 104,859. Class 8 days’ supply ended March at 60, down from 69 year-ago, while stock fell to 32,766 units. Medium-duty days’ supply was 81, compared with 77 at the end of March 2016. Medium-duty inventory rose to 60,781 units from 57,981.

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