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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Freightliner, Kenworth Feel Volvo Charge in Canada

You would be hard pressed to find an OEM trucking executive who felt that 2014 had been a ‘down’ year. Last year will end up as one of the best ever for truck sales over the past 15 years. Overall, the 2,421 Class 8 trucks sold in November 2014 made for the sixth best November results since 1999.

So who had the best of the best year, and did any one OEM establish itself as a new player or high priority player in the market? Whether you are discussing the North American market as a whole or the Canadian market in particular, growth is as much about delivering the product as it is about making a sale.

In times of high volume growth, not every OEM is capable of keeping up with the demand. When there is demand for trucks, there is opportunity for revenues, and if there is revenue to be made — few customers can afford to wait. A potential sale that comes into a Mack facility and is told they must wait weeks for delivery may opt to go with a Kenworth or Freightliner if the delivery cycle is shorter.

In this scenario, the length of the delivery time equals money for the customer. And the OEMs understand this dynamic. So which ones made it work for them in 2014?

The Daimler- and Paccar-owned truck manufacturers enjoyed solid truck sales performances in November of 2014, this is traditionally the last full-sales month for new model HD trucks. Data from the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association indicates that in a crowded field of great sales performances, there were still some standouts.

Daimler-owned Freightliner and Western Star grew their Class 8 truck sales over last year’s totals for the month as did Paccar’s Kenworth and Peterbilt. The remaining manufacturers suffered setbacks during the month compared to the previous year.

Freightliner was in the best position of all Class 8 manufacturers through till November. Not only was it maintaining its commanding market share lead but it had also managed to grow its sales over the previous year. Kenworth retained second place in market share, however its sales YTD November have slipped from the previous year.

The most impressive gains, however, were posted by an emerging Volvo brand, which has shown a significant increase in year-over-year truck sales and market share. Freightliner still controlls one quarter of Class 8 truck sales in Canada while Kenworth had a 17% share and Volvo had risen to 15%.

The most impressive gains, however, were posted by an emerging Volvo brand, which has shown a significant increase in year-over-year truck sales and market share. Freightliner still controlls one quarter of Class 8 truck sales in Canada while Kenworth had a 17% share and Volvo had risen to 15%.