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February 2021: Truck Sales Jump

For the month prior, truck sales were either great or bad depending on if you looked at the increase from last year or last month, respectively. With February, truck sales have increased no matter the angle.

The Numbers

According to Freight Transportation Research (FTR), 44,000 Class 8 trucks were sold in February. This is a tiny 3% increase over January’s 42,800 sales but a whopping 209% leap over February 2020.

By tripling the number of truck sales from the February prior, FTR’s 12-month total volume has skyrocketed to 338,000 truck transactions.

FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles Don Ake repeats the comment that has been said repeatedly for at least six months now: the heavy demand for goods leads to a heavy demand for trucks to ship them.

“There is tremendous pent-up demand for trucks. There are severe bottlenecks in the supply chain involving computer chips, wiring harnesses, and a whole host of various parts. OEMs are under intense pressure to deliver as many vehicles as they can as soon as they can” Ake said in a comment.

Ake also said in January that he expects sales to fall in the coming months due to a lack of raw materials and components, but that slump has not happened yet.

Conclusion

With February in the past, the first full effects of the coronavirus pandemic will soon be compared to now, one year later. Arguably, the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic were a boon to the trucking industry, as consumers made a rush on hand sanitizer and toilet paper. It will be interesting to see if the potential component shortage of 2021 will exert a stronger influence on truck sales than the coronavirus pandemic did in 2020, at least for March. We are predicting March 2021 will be higher than that of 2020.

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