U.S. sales of large trucks rose 23.1 percent in March over the year-ago month, the best monthly performance so far this year.
Last month, automakers sold 54,432 medium and heavy-duty trucks in Classes 4-8. Nearly half of those sales were Class 8s. Sales in that class rose 26.2 percent over March 2005.
Sales of Class 4 trucks surged 63.1 percent in March from March 2005. Classes 5 and 6 also posted solid sales gains. Sales of Class 7 trucks fell 7.2 percent last month.
Freightliner was the best-selling truckmaker in March. The company sold 11,607 trucks, 16.5 percent more than in the year-ago month.
International was second with 11,008 truck sales, a year-over-year increase of 17.6 percent.
Ford followed with 9,501 truck sales, up 57.3 percent.
For the first three months of 2006, sales of big trucks rose by 19.0 percent over the same period last year, to 137,487 units.
Freightliner sold 30,159 during the quarter, an increase of 4.9 percent.
Also for the first three months, International reported 29,301 sales, up 9.6 percent. Third-place Ford sold 24,277 large trucks, up 77.8 percent.
Including light-duty trucks in Classes 1-3, total U.S. truck sales fell 1.8 percent in March from the year-ago month, to 862,665 units. Through the first quarter of 2006, total sales slipped 0.1 percent, to 2,167,549 trucks.
You may e-mail Greg Migliore at [email protected]