If you’re looking for the silver lining in an otherwise lackluster year for Class 8 truck sales in the United States, it is that December held true to a 14-year tradition by posting the highest number of monthly 4th-quarter sales or that Kenworth had its best month since the red-hot year of 2006 when fleets and owner-operators were rushing to pre-buy trucks to avoid the 2007 emissions rule change.
Other than that, for 2016 get out your microscope.
WardsAuto reported Thursday that 15,629 Class 8 trucks were sold in December, bringing the annual total to 192,663.
That’s a 22.5 percent decline from 2015 when 248,797 units were sold and it represents the fourth largest annual percentage decline since 2000.
The largest decline since 2000 was in 2007 when the 150,965 trucks sold represented a decline of 46.8 percent from the 284,008 sold in 2006, which was an all-time record for the Class 8 segment of the market.
Kenworth’s December sales of 3,079 was the OEM’s best month since 2006 and represented a 19.7 percent monthly market share and dropped Freightliner’s monthly share below 30 percent for the first time in many, many months.
A Kenworth spokesperson attributed the high sales to the growing popularity of the OEM’s T680 and T880 models.
Freightliner still dominated market share for all of 2016 at 37.6 percent.
Kenworth was second at 15.3 percent.
In 2015, Freightliner’s annual market share was 38.3 percent compared with Kenworth in second at 14.9 percent.
As for December, Mack, Volvo and Kenworth posted significant gains over November.
Mack had a 73.6 percent sales increase from 1,096 units in November to 1,903 in December, and Volvo had a 62.2 percent increase from 1,451 in November to 2,354 in December.
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