Heavy-duty truck sales in April slipped 4.4 percent from March, but continued to show the expected improvement from the year before.
According to figures provided to The Trucker by Ward’s Automotive, April Class 8 sales totaled 8,627 trucks in the United States, down from 9,025 trucks the month before. Sales improved 29.5 percent compared to April 2009, the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Of course, the comparisons for 2010 versus 2009 should be put in perspective: last year was the worst for big trucks on Ward’s books going to be 1985. Indeed, other than in 2009, fewer trucks were sold last month than in any April since 1991.
Compared to the 2006 record year in which 89,820 Class 8 trucks were sold in the first four months, sales this year are off 64 percent.
In a brand-by-brand look at the most recent figures, Daimler Trucks North America’s Freightliner nameplate led the Class 8 field, selling 2,762 trucks in April, down 18.6 percent from the previous month, but up 78.1 percent from April 2009.
Navistar sold 2,519 International brand trucks, a 26.8 percent improvement from March and a 26.6 percent decrease from the year before.
PACCAR nameplates Peterbilt and Kenworth, respectively, sold 1,106 trucks (down 9.1 percent from March, up 37.9 percent from 2009) and 810 trucks (down 7.7 percent from March, down 5.7 percent from 2009).
Volvo Group’s Mack Trucks Inc. was down 19.5 percent from the previous month on 669 trucks sold in April, but up a 2.6 percent from the year before, while Volvo Trucks North America was down 2.7 percent compared to March and down 2.6 percent compared to 2009, with 619 trucks sold.
Month-to-month numbers, it should be noted, can vary greatly — especially between quarters or from year’s end — depending on an OEM’s sales incentives and reporting procedures.
The U.S. market share pie chart through the first four months shows Freightliner as the top selling brand with a 33.6 percent slice of Class 8, followed by International at 26.6 percent. Peterbilt’s share is 12.5 percent and Kenworth holds 9.6 percent, followed by Volvo (8.2 percent) and Mack (7.9 percent).
Freightliner has been the big gainer so far this year, with its share improving 573 basis points from 12 months ago. Mack’s share has improved 128 basis points and Peterbilt’s 113. The International brand has slipped 171 basis points.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
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