Amidst all the talk about the trucking industry being in a slow-down mode comes word that U.S. Class 8 truck sales appear to have hit an all-time record in September.
Wards Intelligence reported September new truck sales of 28,258, an increase of 20.4% over August sales of 23,466 and a 19.5% increase of September sales in 2018 of 23,648.
For certain, September sales were the highest since December 2006 when 26,462 units were sold and for sure is the highest since The Trucker began keep sales figure in 2000.
Wards said that total U.S. sales in 2019 have reached 211,720, an 18.8% increase over 2018 year-to-date sales of 178,235.
FTR said in a news release that sales had been strong and steady for the previous five months and September was expected to be similar but added that the September record activity was a surprise, even more so with fewer sales days in the month.
Despite slowing freight growth, FTR said some fleets are still expanding and need more trucks. Sales were also boosted by fleets taking delivery of some large orders that had been sitting on OEM lots during the summer.
In addition, carriers have cash to spend to replace older units. Reports indicate some OEMs are offering discounts to reduce record-high inventories, so now might be the ideal time to trade trucks in.
A source told The Trucker that one OEM that drove the non-trend spike referred to increase it as pent-up sales: For whatever reasons, there were delays in getting trucks to market in the preceding months that got solved in September.
FTR said Sales are expected to pull back considerably in October and November as the industry adjusts to the softer freight environment. FTR expects sales volume to drop more than 20% in 2020.
“September should be considered a fluke as fleets delayed taking some deliveries in the summer and the sales all closed in September,” said Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at FTR. “Still, it was great sales month for Class 8 trucks. It will be a much tighter market going forward as fleet expansion slows because of the weaker freight environment. The market is slipping back to replacement level, but fleets are still profitable, so this should stabilize sales.”
Mack Trucks led month-over-month sales in September, selling 2,794 trucks in September compared to 1,773 in August, a 57.6% increase.
Freightliner sold 11,654 trucks in September compared with 7,535 in August, a 54.7% increase.
Based on available records, Freightliner’s September sales also reached an all-time monthly high.
Year-to-date International has the largest percent increase with sales of 30,225 in 2019 compared with 24,306 for the same period in 2018, an increase of 24.4%.
Freightliner is second at 21.7% and Mack is third at 21.5%
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.