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October Class 8 truck sales up 7.4% over September; down 10.7% year-over-year

Sales were up 7.4 percent in October over September of 2012.

By CLIFF ABBOTT
The Trucker Staff

11/14/2012

For the second consecutive month, sales of Class 8 tractors have lagged behind those of the same month a year ago. According to the Wards Automotive Retail Sales of Trucks report, 15, 560 tractors were sold in October, a 10.7 percent decrease compared to 17,424 in October, 2011.

It comes on the heels of a 9.1 percent sales decrease in September over September 2011.

However, sales were up 7.4 percent in October over September of 2012.

International saw the biggest decrease at 2,758 tractors, down 35.7 percent from October of 2011. Despite the drop, company sales are still 4.4 percent ahead of the first 10 months of 2011.

But with 2,285 trucks sold in September and 2,758 sold in October, International showed a 20.7 percent increase month-over-month and Volvo was not far behind, with a 19.1 percent increase in October with 1,714 compared with September’s 1,439.

October’s 7.4 percent increase over September was a smaller percentage of increase than September to October of 2011, which stood at 9.3 percent.

The two down months follow 32 consecutive months of year-over-year increases. The recent elections and economic uncertainty in the industry as the nation approaches the looming “fiscal cliff” are likely factors in the sales decreases.

Tractor sales this year have increased significantly from 2011, running 21.6 percent ahead of the first 10 months of last year. That percentage, however, is expected to shrink if the current downward trend continues.

Carriers with tractor purchase plans will be keeping a watchful eye as the president prepares for a second term and congressional leaders pledge to work together to avoid economic impasse.

Cliff Abbott can be reached to comment on this article at cliffa@thetrucker.com.

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