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Classes 4-7 sales dipped 1% in February to 17,580 compared with a year earlier, WardsAuto.com reported. One analyst suggested production cutbacks could occur as truck makers prioritize heavy-duty production amid ongoing supply chain disruptions.
In the 2020 period, sales were 17,758.
Only Class 6 posted a gain in the month, as sales rose 24.5% to 5,680 compared with 4,561 a year earlier.
Class 7 fell the most, 17.4% to 3,584 from 4,338 in the 2020 period.
In Classes 4-5, sales fell 6.1% to 8,316 compared with 8,859 a year earlier.
February’s slip in total volume came as an industry analyst warned of a range of supply chain issues and said medium-duty production — the precursor to sales — could be vulnerable to competition for those same materials also needed in more profitable heavy-duty production.
“Despite a strong backlog for the Classes 5-7 segment, there is a very real consideration that medium-duty output may be deprioritized in favor of demand for Class 8 vehicles, as OEMs grapple with supply chain constraints,” and strong demand, said Kenny Vieth, president of ACT Research, in a statement.
“To no small extent, it appears that the more traditional early-cycle ramping pains, like tires, assorted cast parts and wiring harnesses, are taking a backseat to more cycle-specific constraints, which begin with the simultaneous global ramp in economic activity overlaid with pandemic-specific challenges,” Vieth said.
Meanwhile, Mack Trucks noted it had rising year-to-date sales of 93 Class 6 vehicles and 17 in Class 7. It launched full production of its medium-duty trucks in September 2020, and sales that year were 58 in Class 6 and 3 in Class 7.
“We knew the product had potential for strong market acceptance, and the initial reception and response confirms our confidence,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president of North American sales. Mack provided the update during the virtual 2021 Work Truck Show.
The Mack MD Series will be supported through Geotab Go, offering access to Mack OneCall agents, available 24/7 at the Mack Uptime Center based in Greensboro, N.C. The MD6 and MD7 models are equipped with the Cummins B6.7 engine, an Allison six-speed transmission and Meritor front and rear axles. Mack is a unit of Volvo Group.
In Class 6 in February, Ford Motor Co. notched a commanding 36.4% market share with 2,072 sold.
Freightliner was next with sales of 1,605 and International sold 1,289.
Freightliner is a brand of Daimler Trucks North America.
International is a brand of Navistar Inc.
In Class 5, Ford notched a 56% share with sales of 3,740 out of a total of 6,689.
In Class 4, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc. led with sales of 786 out of 1,627, good for a 48.3% share.
Year-to-date sales in Classes 4-7 rose 6.3% to 36,182 compared with 34,027 in the first two months a year earlier.
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