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U.S. Class 8 sales top 15K in February; Freightliner posts 5-year high

Daimler Trucks North America’s Freightliner nameplate once again led the Class 8 field, selling 5,760 trucks, a 26.9 percent increase from January and a 47.7 percent improvement from the year before — and the brand’s best single month since January 2007.

The Trucker Staff

3/13/2012

Heavy-duty new truck sales in February were up 9.2 percent from the first month of the year, a better-than-average seasonal improvement. More impressive, truck sales have continued to post nice gains compared to the year before.

According to figures provided to The Trucker by Ward’s Automotive, Class 8 sales totaled 15,418 trucks in the United States, up 58.8 percent from February 2011. The year-over-year improvement is the 26th consecutive.

Class 8 sales in February 2007, at the end of the record run-up that took off in 2005, totaled 16,471units — so the latest report provides another sign that the industry has come back strong. The February figure is more than double the totals posted in 2009 and 2010, during the worst period for truck sales in almost 30 years.

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Year to date, 29,537 Class trucks have been sold in the U.S. — a 55.9 percent improvement over the first two months of 2011.

In a brand-by-brand look at the February sales figures, Daimler Trucks North America’s Freightliner nameplate once again led the field, selling 5,760 trucks, a 26.9 percent increase from January and a 47.7 percent improvement from the year before — and the brand’s best single month since January 2007. DTNA’s Western Star nameplate tallied 184 Class 8 sales in February, down 14 percent from the previous month and up 38.3 percent from the year before.

Navistar in February sold 2,628 International brand trucks, down 22.2 percent from the previous month, but up 75.9 percent from February 2011.

For the Paccar Inc. brands, Peterbilt sold 2,035 trucks (up 0.3 percent from January, up 98.5 percent from February 2011) while Kenworth sold 2,437 trucks (up 22 percent from January, up 132.5 percent from February 2011).

Volvo Group’s Mack Trucks Inc. was down 15.1 percent from the previous month on 1,020 trucks sold in February (up 21.3 percent from the year before), while the Volvo brand was up 78.2 percent for the month, on 1,354 trucks sold (up 6.5 percent from February 2011).

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 for the first two months of 2012 shows Freightliner with a 34.9 percent slice of Class 8, topping International’s 20.3 percent. Kenworth’s share for the year so far is 15 percent, followed by Peterbilt at 13.8. Mack holds 7.5 percent of Class 8 sales and Volvo 7.2 percent.

Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at kevinj@thetrucker.com.

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