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Class 8 trucks sales down slightly in May

Volvo Trucks had the largest percentage of increase in sales in May.

The Trucker Staff


After two straight monthly increases, Class 8 truck sales dropped1.2 percent in May, but one analyst believes the industry is on target to at least achieve the same sales level as last year.

According to Ward’s Automotive, May Class 8 sales totaled 15,460 compared with April sales of 15,646.

Year-to-date, sales in 2013 have totaled 69,911 compared with 81,762 for the same period last year, a decline of 14.5 percent.

The numbers didn’t surprise Steve Tam, vice president-commercial vehicle sector, at ACT Research, considered the leading publisher of new and used commercial vehicle industry data, market analysis and forecasting services for the North American market, as well as the U.S. tractor-trailer market and the China CV market.

ACT has its own data, but ACT numbers pretty much correlate with what the Ward’s data shows, Tam said.

Tam said although the industry showed strong sales during the fourth quarter, orders for Class 8 trucks began to wane in the second half of the year as carriers worried about how the presidential election would turn out.

“This year, the sequester has contributed to the softness of the market,” he said.

Tam said despite the soft sales during the first five months of the year, ACT had not changed its forecast of about 195,000 U.S. Class 8 sales in 2013.

“The last half of the year is always stronger,” he said.

Indeed, 58 percent of the 194,715 Class 8 sales in 2012 occurred during the last seven months.

In 2011, sales the last seven months contributed 66 percent of the total 171,358 sales that year.

Volvo Trucks had the largest percentage of sales increase in May, selling 2,004 trucks compared with 1,689 in April, an increase of 18.7 percent.

Freightliner continues to be the market share leader for the year at 39.3 percent.

Only the Freightliner and Western Star brands, both owned by Daimler Trucks North America, have shown year-to-date sales increases in 2013, the Ward’s data show.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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