Makers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks marked another big year-over-year increase in U.S. sales, jumping 22.4% in February to 34,230 compared with like-2017’s 27,968. The segment has not posted a year-over-year loss in sales since May 2017 and has seen consecutive double-digit gains since October.
Class 8 sales boomed in February, up 49.0% to 16,687 compared to year-ago’s 11,200, with every truck maker posting large gains. Mack’s 8.1% uptick was the lowest in the segment. Both Daimler and PACCAR notched 45%-plus gains, accounting for a majority of the segment’s volume growth in the month. International and Volvo soared 71.8% and 88.3%, respectively.
Sales in Class 7 rose 7.8% to 4,411 compared to like-2017’s 4,090. Ford (-11.9%) and International (-5.6%) were the only two truck makers to flounder in the month. PACCAR witnessed the greatest growth among the class, with combined sales of its Kenworth and Peterbilt brands climbing 41.1% to 906 units from 642 last year.
Class 6 grew a modest 3.0% on mixed results. No.1 Freightliner increased sales 13.5% to 2,276. Ford slipped 22.0% to 1,281, losing 7.1 percentage points of market share.
Sales in Class 5 fell slightly to 6,008 because of a 4.2% drop on large volume in domestics. Daimler’s Freightliner slipped 48.9% and Mitsubishi Fuso 50.0%. Segment leader Ford posted a 4.0% gain with 3,928 deliveries. Hino’s 93.9% jump to 190 units doubled its market share from 1.6% to 3.2%.
Class 4 sellers witnessed a 33.2% leap on volume of 1,305. Isuzu’s domestic and imported builds yielded the greatest volume, up 37.6% and 14.9%, respectively, to 820. Daimler sales almost quadrupled to 80 compared to like-2017’s 22. Ford increased 61.2% while General Motors imports and domestics declined.
The February performance, the ninth straight month of year-over-year gains, kept the big-truck market 20.9% ahead of like-2017 for the year.
The industry closed February with 38,343 Class 8 trucks in stock, equal to a 55-day supply. That compares with 70 days’ supply and just 32,636 units year-ago.
In other big-truck news, Hino Trucks announced its all-new XL series line of Class 7 and Class 8 trucks that will begin production in early 2019 at their newly-purchased plant in Mineral Wells, WV. After much success in Classes 4-7, Hino is ready to enter the Class 8 market for the first time in the U.S.