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In April, US retail sales in Classes 4-7 increased 23.9% to more than 19,000 vehicles, reflecting gains across all segments, WardsAuto.com reported.
Sales reached 19,431 against 15,686 a year earlier. Year-to-date sales have increased 18.3% to 79,185 from 66,957 in the 2020 period, according to Wards.
Class 7 improved 10.4% to 3,643 from 3,301 a year earlier. Freightliner was the market leader with 1,539 sales, or a 42.2% share. Peterbilt Motors Co. of Paccar Inc. and Kenworth Truck Co. totaled 1,267 sales, representing a 34.7% share.
Class 6 rose 70.9% to 4,286 from 2,508 a year earlier. International, a brand of Navistar Inc., took the top spot with one more sale than Freightliner – 1163 to 1162.
“This means rental / leasing companies are buying new trucks again,” said Steve Tam, vice president of ACT Research.
Mack Trucks, which entered the mid-size vehicle market late last year, sold 113 in the segment and 25 in the Class 7. The truck manufacturer has started production of the Class 6 trucks. at 7 at its new plant in Roanoke Valley, Va., in September. 1 after being set back two months by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In grades 4-5, sales increased 16.5% to 11,502 from 9,877 a year earlier.
Class 4 sales of 2,122 were led, again, by Isuzu Commercial Truck of America with 1,086 sales out of 2,122.
In Class 5, Ford again dominated with 4,674 sales out of 9,380.
In a first quarter earnings call, Cummins President and CEO Tom Linebarger said the company’s opportunities with medium-duty engines were growing.
“In North America, Daimler Trucks North America will replace its vertically integrated engines with Cummins engines ahead of CARB regulations in 2024 and EPA regulations in 2027,” Linebarger said, referring to the California Air Resources Board.
Cummins engines will be used in Daimler mid-frames in Europe, Brazil and India, coinciding with next-generation emissions regulations in those regions, he said. “Going forward, global medium duty engine systems for Daimler trucks and buses around the world will be supplied by Cummins.”
Meanwhile, Isuzu will introduce trucks powered by Cummins B6.7 diesel platform engines to North America in 2021, and then to Japan, Southeast Asia and other regions at later dates, a he declared.
The Cummins 6.7 and L9 engines will be available in Hino trucks in North America by the end of this year.
Linebarger added: “The diesel thing is moving now because [truck makers] must make investment choices today: am I investing in the new [diesel engine] or do i have another place to invest? “
He said Cummins was also working with truck manufacturers on managing the transition “from internal combustion engines to low-carbon hybrids and ultimately to zero-emission products in the future.”
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