To the surprise of virtually no one in the trucking industry, Class 8 truck sales declined in July.
According to data supplied to The Trucker by Ward’s Automotive, 16,421 Class 8 tractors were sold in July compared to 17,484 in June, a drop of 6.1 percent.
It was the second straight monthly decline with May to June sales having gone down 2.9 percent.
If there is a silver lining in the data, it comes from the fact that year-to-date sales are up 60.5 percent over 2011 and July 2012 sales were 27.4 percent higher than July 2011 sales.
However, as reported in the August 1 print edition of The Trucker, truck orders have been trending downward, including a notation by FTR Associates that Class 8 truck orders “continue to disappoint.”
“Truckers are operating in a modestly positive environment, but not strong enough to elicit higher demand for expensive new vehicles,” the story quoted Jonathan Starks, FTR’s director of transportation analysis, as saying.
Starks noted that freight volumes and rates slowed noticeably during late 2011 and into 2012.
Three truck brands posted a June to July increase in sales in the data released Friday.
International noted the largest gain, 8.3 percent to 3,260 trucks.
Freightliner was up 4.5 percent to 5,368 trucks and Mack was up 3.4 percent to 1,803.
Volvo declined 33.4 percent to1,471, Kenworth dropped 19.1 percent to 2,018, Peterbilt went down 14 percent to 2,310 and Western Star declined 5.9 percent to 190.
As a result of July data, year-to-date market share remained virtually the same for all brands.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
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