November Class 8 Sales Second-Highest of 2022

Peterbilt 579
A Peterbilt 579. (Peterbilt Motors Co.)

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Class 8 U.S. retail sales in November were the second-highest this year and continued the trend since May of monthly gains compared with a year earlier, Wards Intelligence reported.

Sales rose 39.5% to 23,075 compared with 16,539 a year earlier. August posted the best sales so far with 23,581.

Year-to-date sales rose 14.2% to 225,163 compared with 197,224 in the 2021 period.

ACT Research’s full-year U.S. Class 8 retail forecast is about 259,000. “That means we will need another 33,000 or so, with what Wards has in hand, to hit that,” ACT Vice President Steve Tam said. “I don’t think that is going to be a problem for the industry. I think they will be able to get very close to that.”

In 2021, full-year U.S. Class 8 sales were 221,889, according to Wards.

“Familiar seasonal demand trends have re-emerged with improvements in the supply chain,” Dan Clark, head of vehicle and equipment finance at BMO Commercial Bank, told Transport Topics.

He said the fourth quarter traditionally has been the strongest quarter of the year for unit sales with all truck makers, so the strong delivery numbers in November are not too surprising.

Dan Clark


“That said, the demand is likely mostly coming from the largest national fleets where replacement cycles have been stretched and pent-up demand remains the strongest,” Clark said.

Robert Gomez, executive vice president of sales for Worldwide Equipment Enterprises Inc., said he believes truck makers “are seeing some relief on availability of vendor options, as well as getting more acclimated to making adjustments with manufacturing within the confines of today’s shortages.”

Worldwide Equipment is based in Knoxville, Tenn., and has locations in seven states, including 22 full-service, multibrand medium- and heavy-duty dealerships, six satellite parts stores and 14 leasing locations, and 900 employees.



“I think we are all trying to work together to find solutions to meet customer needs,” Gomez said, “and simultaneously customers are more understanding of constraints and realize if orders are not placed, they will not be able to have trucks.”

All truck makers but Western Star notched sales gains compared with a year earlier. Western Star — the smallest manufacturer and a brand of Daimler Truck North America — slid 7.6% on 465 sales, compared with 503, for a 2% share.

Freightliner, also a DTNA brand, remained the market leader with a 36.6% share on 8,453 sales, a 37.8% increase. 

The most dramatic improvement involved International, a brand of Traton Group’s Navistar, as sales climbed 129.5% to 3,016. It earned a 13.1% share.



“As we prepare for the market introduction of the S13 integrated powertrain [Traton’s final diesel engine], our dealer network is committed to the investments necessary to ensure not only a successful sale of the product but comprehensive service and support throughout the operation of this new powertrain,” Göran Nyberg, Navistar’s executive vice president of commercial operations, said recently.

Kenworth Truck Co. rose 59.8% on 3,743 sales to earn a 16.2% share, Peterbilt Motors Co. rose 27.1% to 3,612 and a 15.7% share. Both are brands of Paccar Inc.



Mack Trucks rose 22.8% to 1,665 sales and earned a 7.2% share, and Volvo Trucks North America inched up 3.6% to 2,121 sales to claim a 9.2% share. Mack and VTNA are brands of Volvo Group.
“We are confident we will have a strong December,” said Magnus Koeck, vice president of strategy for VTNA. “I have said it before, but the OEMs’ retail shares will be determined by who will manage the supply chain and their manufacturing output in the best way.”



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Said Tam: “It does not matter in the medium- or heavy-duty world, December is the ‘miracle month.’ There are all these year-end targets, and so there will be a big push by the industry to build and sell as many trucks as they possibly can.”

In ACT’s industry presentations, he said, most of them carry the tagline “best recession ever.”
“We continue to be beset by data that tells us, ‘Oh, the market is softening, the market is slowing, it’s going to get worse.’ ”

But how should we think about the term worse?

“It’s a relative term,” Tam said. “But it is not going to be bad. We do have a tough patch ahead because we will have some slowing, but we have to keep it in perspective.”

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