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U.S. retail sales of Classes 4-7 trucks in March dropped nearly 11% compared with a year earlier but reached the highest monthly total this year, Wards Intelligence reported.
Sales reached 21,002. A year earlier, they were 23,575, which was the high point for 2021, according to Wards.
Sales this January were 15,934 and in February reached 17,355.
ACT Research: March’s Preliminary CV New Order Activity Trending in Narrow Rangehttps://t.co/Z4bdh8QYQw
— ACT Research (@actresearch) April 4, 2022
Year-to-date sales fell 9.1% to 54,290 compared with 59,754 a year earlier.
March retail sales came as Classes 5-7 backlogs remained “just below all-time levels in February, and order moderation continued into March,” ACT President Kenny Vieth said in a statement.
Class 7 sales inched up 0.5% to 4,365 compared with 4,343 in the 2021 period. Freightliner, a brand of Daimler Truck North America, sold the most, 2,218, and International sold the next-highest amount, 1,305. International is a brand of Navistar Inc., which is a division of Traton Group.
Class 6 sales rose the most, up 8.6% to 7,244 compared with 6,672 a year earlier. Freightliner led here, too, with 3,147 sales. International was second with 1,717. Ford Motor Co. followed with 1,364, but that was down from 2,101 a year earlier. Freightliner and International each improved compared with the 2021 period.
Class 5 pulled the overall results down as sales fell to 7,051 compared with 10,117 in the year-earlier period. Ford saw sales fall to 3,528, for a leading 50% share, compared with 5,485 in 2021 when it earned a leading 54% share.
ACT Vice President Steve Tam said the Class 5 comparison was an anomalous data point.
“It was most likely some sort of catch-up related event,” he said. “This year, we continue to be constrained by part shortages, resulting in lower production and sales.”
Class 4 sales were steady at 2,342 compared with 2,443 year earlier. Of note, Freightliner increased its sales to 568 compared with 15 in the 2021 period. In the other direction, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America sold 534 in March versus 1,207 a year earlier.
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Meanwhile, Paccar Inc. launched the Cummins B6.7N engine in medium-duty models from its Kenworth Truck Co. and Peterbilt Motors Co. brands.
“Natural gas-engine offerings have been part of the Peterbilt portfolio since the introduction of our first CNG-powered vehicles in 2007. The introduction of the B6.7N [for its 536 and 537 models] is the latest example of our environmental stewardship and ongoing commitment to sustainability, extending our near-zero emissions solutions to more applications,” Peterbilt Chief Engineer Scott Newhouse said in a release.
The B6.7N engine offers 200-240 horsepower and 520-560 pound-feet of torque while emitting 50% lower NOx emissions than current EPA standards, Peterbilt noted.
Peterbilt medium-duty trucks also can be configured with the Cummins L9N engine featuring 300-320 hp and 860-1,000 pound-feet of torque, according to the company.
According to Kenworth, the Cummins B6.7N engine adds a natural gas, near-zero-emissions solution for customers purchasing Kenworth’s T180, T280 and T380 new medium-duty trucks.
A customer also must spec an Allison transmission and an aero hood when choosing that engine, Kenworth noted.
Peterbilt and Kenworth make Classes 6-7 trucks in the medium-duty segment.