At the start of the year, we wrote an article laying out our predictions for 2020. Nobody could have predicted the wild ride 2020 has been so far, but news has broken that yet another prediction we had has turned out to not happen: new truck sales are on the rise.
Two studies, one from the Freight Transportation Research Associates (FTR) and the other from Americas Commercial Transportation Research Company (ACT), report that sales of new Class 8 vehicles total around 15,500 (according to FTR) and 16,000 (according to ACT). This is an increase of over 130% from May’s numbers.
That might not seem too interesting because of the coronavirus pandemic slowing down the economy, but consider this: compared to June 2019, June 2020’s new truck sales are about 20% higher. Even if COVID-19 reduced orders, it was not enough to slow down sales growth.
Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of commercial vehicles, feels this is a good sign of a recovering economy. “June’s order activity is good news, after last month’s disappointing number. We expected orders to average around 10,000 units for a few months, and now they have averaged 11,000 for the past two months. The Class 8 market is on the slow, steady recovery that matches our forecast.”
ACT also reported that Class 5-7 trucks sold more in June 2020 than in May 2020, but less than in June 2019. It appears the smaller commercial truck market has not fully recovered from the pandemic just yet.
Advances in technology for heavy-duty trucks appear to be fueling the demand for newer trucks, despite the glut of used trucks on the market that are available for cheap.
In any case, all the mounting evidence in the trucking industry shows that the economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and should be back to normal working order soon enough.