New registrations in the U.S. for Class 3 through Class 8 vehicles for the first half of 2014 totaled 310,718, an increase of 12.3% over the first half of 2013, according to a new report from vehicle industry data provider IHS Automotive.
For the same period, Class 8 vehicles were up 16.7%
The first half results were driven by a strong second quarter, with new registrations in the April through June period of 163,106 units, representing an increase of 13% from the same quarter in the 2013 calendar year, according to the report.
Second quarter new registrations were the best since the second quarter of 2007.
"Importantly, not only were new registrations in the second quarter up over the same period last year, they also increased 10.4% from the level of new registrations reported during the first quarter of the 2014 calendar year," says the report.
The numbers are significant, says the report, because it's the first indication that the high level of orders and production have resulted in an increase in the movement of vehicles to the end customer.
The increase in Class 8 registrations was driven by fleets with 500 or more trucks, up 22% in the second quarter of the year from the same time in 2013. These large fleets accounted for a little more than a third of all new Class 8 registrations during the second quarter.
Freightliner had the biggest share of new registrations in Class 8 with 33.5%, followed by Kenworth with 14.1% share and Peterbilt with 13% share. In the first six months of the year, each of the six major brands had a year-over-year increase, ranging from a high of 33.4% for Volvo to a low of 11.8% for Peterbilt.
New Class 3 through Class 8 registrations in Canada totaled 39,412 in the first half of the 2014, down 3% from the same period in 2013 and 7% lower than the record level achieved during the period in the 2012 calendar year. The decline in new registrations north of the border was described as “broad based,” with only Class 5 new registrations above the level achieved during the first half of the 2013 calendar year.