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The final Class 8 new truck sales figures are in showing 2018 not as a record year in in terms of total sales, nor a record year in terms of the percentage increase over the previous year, but certainly a banner year if you will.
December sales of 26,083 pushed the 2018 total to 250,627 units, an increase of 30.4 percent over 2017 when 192,243 units were sold, according to data provided by WardsAuto.
The 2018 total is the third largest of the century topped only by sales of 284,008 in 2006 and 252,792 in 2005 during the two years the industry was preparing for the coming of the so-called 2007 emissions standards that included a 50 percent reduction in the various nitrogen oxides (NOx) produced during combustion and a 90 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions compared to 2004 standards.
The 2018 percentage of year-over-year increase was 30.4 percent, topped only by 59.9 percent increase in 2011 (sales of 171,358 in 2011 versus 107,152 in 2010) and a 43.1 percent increase in 2004 (sales of 203,197 versus 141,964 in 2003).
As it has been for all but one year in the century, Freightliner was the leader in market share with 36.3 percent of total sales.
The only year Freightliner did not lead in market share was 2009 when International was the market share leader at 28 percent compared with 27.7 percent for Freightliner.
December sales were up 22.4 percent over November and 16.7 percent year-over-year.
December’s data show that International had the largest month-over-month increase at 55.8 percent followed closely by Volvo at 51 percent.
International (57.7 percent) and Volvo (56.7 percent) had the largest gains from 2017 to 2018.
Here are some highlights of the 2018 report:
- The best month for sales in 2018 was December with 26,083 sales. December is typically the best month of the year as carriers make last minute buys for tax purposes.
- The worst month was January with sales of 14,458. January is typically the lowest month of the year because carriers have bought so many trucks in December of the previous year.
- The largest month-over-month increase was December over November with an increase of 22.4 percent.
- The largest month-over-month decline excluding January was November sales, which were 14.8 percent lower than October.
- International posted the largest increase in December 2018 compared with December 2017 at 55.8 percent with sales of 3,020 in December 2018 compared with 1,939 in December 2017. Second was Volvo with a 51 percent increase on sales of 2,983 in December 2018 compared with 1,976 in December 2017,
- Mack posted the best month-over-month increase in December with an 83.1 percent increase on sales of 2,655 in December compared with sales of 1,450 in November. Kenworth was second with a 41.7 increase on sales of 4,512 compared with 3,185 in November.