Heavy-duty truck sales in May slipped 8.5 percent from April, but continued to show the expected improvement from the year before.
According to figures provided to The Trucker by Ward’s Automotive, May Class 8 sales totaled 7,895 trucks in the United States, down from 8,627 trucks the month before. Sales improved 13.5 percent compared to May 2009, the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year gains — although the rate of improvement is down from 29.4 percent a month earlier.
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 last year, fewer trucks were sold last month than in any May in 25 years.
Compared to the 2006 record year in which 114,969 Class 8 trucks were sold in the first five months, sales this year are off 65 percent.
In a brand-by-brand look at the most recent figures, Navistar sold 2,684 International brand trucks to top all Class 8 nameplates, a 6.6 percent improvement from April and a 34.1 percent increase from the year before.
Daimler Trucks North America’s Freightliner sold 2,233 trucks in May, down 19.2 percent from the previous month, but up 18.8 percent from May 2009.
PACCAR nameplates Peterbilt and Kenworth, respectively, sold 776 trucks (down 29.8 percent from April, and down 9.8 percent from 2009) and 953 trucks (up 17.7 percent from April, up 19.3 percent from 2009).
Volvo Group’s Mack Trucks Inc. was down 6.4 percent from the previous month on 626 trucks sold in May, but up a 5.6 percent from the year before, while Volvo Trucks North America was down 23.8 percent compared to April and down 10.4 percent compared to 2009, with 459 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 five months shows Freightliner as the top selling brand with a 32.5 percent slice of Class 8, followed by International at 28.1 percent. Peterbilt’s share is 12 percent and Kenworth holds 10.1 percent, followed by Mack (7.9 percent) and Volvo (7.7 percent).
Freightliner has been the big gainer so far this year, with its share improving 486 basis points from 12 months ago. None of the other top nameplates has gained or lost more than 1 percentage point in market share.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
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