LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — U.S. sales of new, Class 8 trucks remained above the 20,000 threshold for the third consecutive month in July, according to data received from Wards Intelligence.
Last year, only December, typically the largest sales month in each year, exceeded the 20,000 mark.
This year, sales lagged behind last year’s pace until finally catching up in June and pulling ahead in July. For the first 7 months, OEMs reported sales of 132,870 on the U.S. market, compared to 128,407 at the same time last year, for an increase of 4,463 trucks or 3.5%.
Compared with an exceptionally strong June, however, U.S. sales dropped by 1,845 units for a decline of 8.3% month to month.
Compared with July 2021, sales increased by 21.9% with delivery of an additional 3,689 trucks this year. Note that June is the final month of the second quarter. Quarter-ending months are typically strong as carriers adjust their numbers in preparation for SEC filings.
As usual, Freightliner led all sellers with U.S. sales of 7,855. That number represents a decline of 3.4% from June sales but a nice 34.4% increase over July 2021 sales. In July, Freightliner sold 38.3% of the Class 8 trucks sold in the U.S.
Freightliner sibling Western Star was the only OEM to sell more Class 8 trucks in July than in June, although the market share is considerably smaller at 2.7%. The company reported sales of 552 trucks in July, compared with 450 in June, for an increase of 22.7%.
International sales of 2,229 were down 23.8% from June sales of 2,929. The company also represents the only OEM that saw worse sales numbers in July than in the same month a year earlier, selling 394 fewer Class 8 units for a 15.0% decline. International was responsible for 10.9% of Class 8 sales in July.
Volvo’s 2,123 sold in July was a decline of 20.8% from June’s 2,679. However, July 2021 was a poor month for the OEM, when just 888 Class 8 trucks were sold, so July 2022 represents a whopping 139.1% increase.
Volvo-owned Mack sales of Class 8 trucks declined 17.0% in July from June’s 1,560 to 1,295. Compared with July 2021, Mack sales increased by a modest 43 trucks or 3.4%. In July, Mack sales represented 6.3% of the market while sibling Volvo took 10.3%.
Kenworth reported sales of 3,067 trucks, down 4.0% from June’s 3,194 but up slightly (1.2%) from the 3,032 trucks sold in July, 2021. Kenworth sales took 15.0% of the U.S. Class 8 market in July.
Peterbilt sales reached 3,392 in July, down 0.8% from June’s 3,418 and up 24.0% from July 2021 sales of 2,735. Peterbilt took 16.5% of the U.S. Class 8 market in July. Together, the PACCAR siblings were responsible for 31.5% of the market.
Parts and components, especially semiconductors, seem to be in greater supply than earlier in the year but supply chain issues aren’t over yet.
Carriers are still profiting from the higher freight rates and are likely to keep investing in new equipment as long as there is money to make.
Possible headwinds are inflationary pressures, including increasing interest rates, which will impact purchasing power for those who finance equipment purchases.
Cliff Abbott is an experienced commercial vehicle driver and owner-operator who still holds a CDL in his home state of Alabama. In nearly 40 years in trucking, he’s been an instructor and trainer and has managed safety and recruiting operations for several carriers. Having never lost his love of the road, Cliff has written a book and hundreds of songs and has been writing for The Trucker for more than a decade.