Equipment

New, Used Truck Registrations Post Strong Third-Quarter Gains

December 11, 2014

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New commercial vehicle registrations for Class 3 through Class 8 trucks increased nearly 14% for the first nine months of 2014 compared to the same time a year ago, according to a new report by the vehicle industry research firm IHS Automotive.

Registrations totaled 488,966, an increase of 13.9% compared to 429,451 during the first nine months of 2013, driven by an 18.9% increase in new registrations of Class 8 trucks, according to IHS. That's almost double the level reported during the first nine months of 2009.

New registrations during the third quarter of 2014 totaled 176,632 units -- the highest level of new registrations of Class 3-8 trucks in any quarter since the third quarter of 2006 and up 15.5% from the same quarter in 2013.

“New registrations in the most recent quarter reflect the strong order and production schedules that have been reported by manufacturers,” said IHS in the report.

The significant increase in new registrations of Class 3 through Class 8 trucks during the quarter resulted from a 22.3% increase in Class 8 new registrations from the same quarter in 2013. New Class 8 truck registrations of 59,327 units were the strongest since the last quarter of 2006, when they hit 64,332 units and were highly influenced by a prebuy as fleets rushed to purchase before the 2007 change in diesel emission standards, according to IHS.

It also noted Class 8 new truck registrations in the quarter were highly influenced by the registrations of new units by fleets operating more than 500 trucks. In the first nine months of this year, fleets of two to 500 trucks accounted for the largest share of new registrations, 40.4%, followed by fleets with 501 or more trucks at 33.7%.

Used Trucks, Trailers

On the used truck registration side, there were 180,569 in Class 3 through Class 8 truck during the third quarter, an increase of 5.9% from the same quarter of 2013. However, transactions in the quarter were down 10% from the level of activity in the second quarter.

“With the strong level of new registrations in the past 90 days, and based on the operating procedure followed by large fleets when they obtain new vehicles, there should be an increase in used transactions in the next quarter as these used trucks reach the market,” the report said.

New trailer registrations in the third quarter, those more than 24 feet long, totaled 194,814, up 14.5% from the same period in 2013.

“As is the case with motorized commercial vehicles, new registrations of commercial trailers continue to recover from the low point experienced in the 2009 calendar year,” the report said. “The trailer market continues to be driven by the van segment, including refrigerated units. Vans have continued to increase share and represent 72% of total commercial new trailer registrations during the first nine months of the 2014 calendar year, their highest level of penetration.”

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