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DTNA forecasts strong truck sales next year


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Fleet Owner / October 19, 2015

Look for 2016 truck sales to fall somewhere between the exceptionally strong numbers of 2015 and those seen in 2014, according to Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA).

With production plans essentially in place through the end of the year, Class 6 through 8 sales in North America should top 435,000 trucks, he said during a press conference at the American Trucking Assns. Annual conference. That would be 13.4% above 2014 sales, which totaled 384,000.

With fleets now in the middle of their ordering cycle, Daum said, “I’m fairly confident that [Class 6-8 sales] will be lower than 2015, but better than 2014.” While the new year’s truck totals might suffer in comparison with the strong 2015 numbers, “2014 was a good year,” he said. “Everyone had happy faces then, so why not again.”

October and November order intake for delivery in 2016 will be significant lower than last year, which Daum characterized as “not normal,” and driven by fleets rushing to reserve production slots in anticipation of a strong truck sales year. “Don’t be fooled [by the lower order intake]. Compare it to Q4 2013, not to Q4 2014, which would be misleading.”

Focusing on the U.S., Daum expects Class 8 sales to reach 262,000 trucks by the end of the year, compared to 220,000 in 2014 for an 18.8% gain year over year. Classes 6 and 7 will finish out 2015 at 114,000 units, which is well above the 106,00 recorded in 2014, but still below what DTNA considers a normal annual volume of 135,000. “We’re seeing a slow and steady recovery [in Classes 6 and 7], and expect that trend to continue in 2016,” Daum said.

In other news, Daum said DTNA was “tiptoeing at full speed” into extending remote connectivity for its trucks. During ATA the company announced that it was launching remote software updating for its trucks, and Daum said the company was committed to accelerating development in the area of connectivity “even though it is a big challenge in uncharted territory.”

Daum also hinted that DTNA would be introducing it’s next generation heavy truck later in 2016, but declined to give more details.

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