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October 18, 2017 12:45 PM, EDT
Medium-Duty Sales Ride Classes 4-5 to Gains in September

Sales of medium-duty trucks rose 5.8% in September, led by sales of trucks in two of the lightest classes, WardsAuto.com reported.

Sales of Class 4 and Class 7 trucks reached 18,390 compared to 17,389 a year earlier.

Year-to-date, sales were up 5.5% to 165,201.

Continuing the trend from August, sales of Classes 4-5 trucks posted the biggest gains, up 22% in September to 8,690 units, according to Ward’s.

“Class 4 is a market that was disproportionately impacted by the recession back in 2008 through 2010. Not only was it the recession, but that [truck class] tends to directly serve the housing segment of the economy. So it was particularly beat up,” Steve Tam, vice president of ACT Research Co., told Transport Topics.

“Class 4 is still a shadow of its former self, but it’s making progress and coming back, and there are new entrants in that space. We are seeing the life being breathed back in to that customer space,” Tam added.

Year-to-date sales in September for Class 4 trucks were 13,495, according to Ward’s — just below the 14,473 posted in the same period in 2009. But that doesn’t compare to 38,746 sales in the same nine-month period in 2007.

Meanwhile, General Motors’ Chevrolet brand began offering an LCF Class 4 truck this year and achieved sales of 1,233 units in the first nine months.

New products were moving into the Class 4 space just as the market was crashing with the recession, Tam noted.

At the same time, Class 7 sales fell 8.7% to 5,226 compared to 5,721 a year earlier.

Freightliner, a unit of Daimler Trucks North America, claimed the top spot with 2,424 truck sales, good for a 46% share.

International sold 1,666 Class 7 trucks, earning a 32% share.

Also, Peterbilt Motors Co. sold 513 trucks. Kenworth Truck Co. sold 349. Both are brands of Paccar Inc. and, combined, gave their parent company a 16% share of the Class 7 market.

Hino Trucks, a division of Toyota, with 153 sales and Ford Motor Co.’s 121 sales accounted for the balance.

Class 6 sales slipped 1.6% to 4,474 compared to 4,547 a year earlier.

Freightliner led with 1,496 sales, a 33% share.

Ford nipped at Freightliner’s heels, selling 1,263, for a 28% share.

International earned a 19% share with sales of 846 units.

Ford Motor Co. dominated Class 5 with 4,742 sales out of a total of 7,105.