New commercial vehicle registrations in Classes 3-8 for the first nine months of the 2013 were 426,718 units, up 2.8% from the same period in the 2012, according to a new report from IHS Automotive/Polk.
Also new commercial vehicle registrations during the same period were the best since the third quarter of the 2007 calendar year. Quarterly new registrations were up 5.6% from the same quarter in 2012.
The year-over-year hike was strongest for Class 4 vehicles, increasing 13.5%, followed by Class 5 vehicles, increasing 11.6%, Class 7 vehicles, gaining 11.2% and Class 3 vehicles adding 10.3%. Only Class 8 (heavy truck) vehicles trailed the level of new registrations achieved during the third quarter in 2012, falling 2.7%.
“While the quarterly results are indeed a positive sign for the commercial vehicle industry, the results for October will be important in measuring the ongoing strength of the industry,” says the report. “If new commercial vehicle registrations are going to exceed the level achieved during the 2012 calendar year, October needs to be a strong month.”
During the first nine months of the 2013, new registrations of Class 8 vehicles were down 7.2% from the same period of the 2012, while new registrations of Class 3 vehicles during the same time were slightly ahead of Class 8 vehicle new registrations.
“New registrations of Class 8 vehicles have been almost flat for seven of the last eight quarters, with the exception of the first quarter of the 2013 calendar year,” says the report. “One of the key measurements that we continue to watch regarding Class 8 new registrations are the new registrations of the larger fleets.”
During the first nine months of the 2013 calendar year, new registrations of Class 8 vehicles by fleets operating 500 or more units were down 14.9% compared to the 7.2% decline for the gross vehicle weight in total, according to Polk.