Medium-Duty Sales Skid in Typical November Fashion

A Navistar medium-duty International MV series truck. (Navistar)

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U.S. sales of medium-duty trucks in November made the typical slide toward the end of the year, falling 7.4% from the 2018 period, reported.

Sales reached 16,753 compared with 18,101 a year ago.

For the 11-month period, sales rose 5.9% to 227,683.

Sales fell in the Classes 6-7 segments and notched a modest gain in Classes 4-5, according to Ward’s.



“Typically, the November numbers are low. It is like the third-weakest month of the year,” ACT Research Vice President Steve Tam said.

At the same time, GM posted no sales for the month in Classes 4-7, according to Ward’s.

GM was shut down during a 40-day strike by the United Auto Workers Union that ended Oct. 25.

“In 2019, we delivered over 10,000 GM and International-badged Class 4-5 trucks in the first year of production. This number would have been higher if not for the UAW’s strike that impacted our Springfield, Ohio, plant,” Troy Clarke, Navistar International Corp. chairman and CEO, said during a recent earnings call.

At the same time, leasing companies are buying fewer trucks, and shifting others around — moving rental trucks to the leasing side, Chief Operating Officer Persio Lisboa said.

“And every time that happens, that’s one less unit that we see in our pipeline,” he said.

Class 7 sales fell 13.9% to 4,355 compared with 5,060 a year earlier.

Paccar Inc.’s two brands, Kenworth Truck Co. and Peterbilt Motors Co., posted gains as the combined volume reached 1,303 compared with 1,195 a year earlier.

International, Navistar Inc.’s brand, also improved as sales rose to 929 compared with 875 in the 2018 quarter.

All other truck makers in the segment posted declines, with Freightliner posting the largest. Freightliner, a brand of Daimler Trucks North America, fell to 1,780 units compared with 2,585 a year earlier.

In Class 6, sales dropped 16% to 4,474 units as the truck makers that typically sell the most — Freightliner, Ford Motor Co. and International — had the biggest declines in the segment but remained the market share leaders.

Freightliner fell to 1,402 units compared with 2,096 a year earlier. Ford dropped by 322 units to 1,285. International dropped by 201 to 582.

The Paccar brands, Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A. and Isuzu Commercial Truck of America posted gains.

Classes 4-5 sales inched up 2.7% to 7,924 compared with 7,713 a year earlier.

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