“New heavy-duty truck sales were off significantly in 2016, as several of our large fleet customers delayed purchases due to excess capacity, an erratic freight environment and low used truck trade-in valuations caused by an oversupply of used trucks,” said W.M. “Rusty” Rush, chairman, CEO and president of Rush Enterprises. “However, our solid performance in medium-duty new truck sales was a bright spot for the year.”
In 2016, Rush Class 8 retail sales accounted for 5.5% of the total U.S. Class 8 market, compared to 6.7% in 2015. The company sold 10,816 Class 8 trucks in 2016, a decrease of 35.9% compared to 2015.
“2016 was a tough year for heavy-duty truck sales across the industry, as U.S. Class 8 retail sales were down 22.2% compared to 2015,” Rush said. “Throughout 2016, significantly reduced demand from several large fleet customers negatively impacted our new Class 8 truck sales. We saw some moderate increases in vocational activity in 2016, particularly in Texas, California and Florida, but over-the-road truck sales were sluggish throughout 2016.
“Additionally, an oversupply of used trucks throughout the industry continues to suppress used truck trade-in values, negatively impacting new truck sales. We expect used truck valuations will remain soft for most of 2017, which will continue to negatively impact new Class 8 truck sales.”
Rush’s U.S. Class 4 through 7 medium-duty truck sales reached 11,135 units in 2016, which was flat compared to 2015. Rush’s medium-duty new truck sales accounted for 4.9% of the total U.S. Class 4 through 7 market in 2016.
“Our nationwide inventory of ready-to-roll medium-duty trucks and wide range of products, including Peterbilt, International, Hino, Isuzu, Ford and Mitsubishi Fuso gives us the ability to support customers in a wide variety of business sectors. This enabled another strong year for us in Class 4-7 truck sales in 2016,” Rush said. “There was an uptick in quoting activity in the fourth quarter, particularly coming from the infrastructure sector and from ancillary businesses that support the infrastructure sector. We expect this to be a key driver for medium-duty new truck sales in 2017, and we remain focused on providing work-ready inventory at our dealerships to meet the immediate needs of these customers. We believe our Class 4-7 truck sales will remain consistent with the industry in 2017.”
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