Class 8 truck sales in the United States rose from the ashes of what appeared to be a subpar year compared to the past three, and showed the strongest monthly figure since mid-2015 to come within 420 sales of equaling 2016’s total, something many analysts thought was not likely to happen.
U.S. Class 8 sales in December reached 22,355, an increase of 27.8 percent over November when 17,488 units were sold.
The December 2017 total was 43 percent higher than December 2016 when 15,629 units were sold.
The somewhat unanticipated upward trend began in May 2017 when 16,248 units were sold.
Six of the last seven months exceeded 17,000.
Freightliner and Kenworth posted extremely strong months in December.
Freightliner sold 8,504 units, Kenworth sold 4,104.
The Freightliner total was not a monthly record.
Based on records dating back to 1996, Kenworth’s December sales is likely record, although sales information prior to 1996 was not available.
“The construction and vocational markets are really strong, and we sold a huge number of stock trucks as customers are preparing for the spring 2018 construction season,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.
All nameplates posted gains in December, topped by a 101.2 percent gain (694 vs. 345).
Mack increased 52.7 percent, Volvo 44 percent, Kenworth 36 percent, Freightliner 29.7 percent, International 4.4 percent and Peterbilt 2.9 percent.
Freightliner was market share leader in 2017 at 37.5 percent. Paccar cousins Peterbilt and Kenworth were second and third at 15.9 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively.