5-year period (2004-2008), sales were down 30 percent for most classes, with only Class 5 showing a marginal increase of 6 percent (see Table 2-6). The Ward’s data on vehicle classes and manufacturers (Table 2-7) show:
Profound cycling of sales volumes, especially in higher weight classes.
Though still down, sales between the dominant providers, Ford and General Motors, shifted significantly as the GM share went from 2 percent (2004) to 37 percent (2008). Sales were down 27 percent over the period.
Classes 4 through 7 did not see significant shifts among the manufacturers—Ford, GM, International, Freight-liner, Hino, and Sterling. Diesel emission requirements and general economic unknowns both contributed to a nearly 40 percent decline in sales over the 5-year period.
Major manufacturers for Class 8 vehicles have not varied over the past 5 years with one exception—the case of Freightliner—whose market share has declined 5 percent since 2004.
As with vehicle sales, sales of engines manufactured for medium- and heavy-duty trucks declined from 764,000 units in 2004 to 557,000 in 2008 (Table 2-8).
The Class 8 vehicle and engine volumes illustrate profound fluctuations due to both a 2006 pre-buy to avoid cost increases and unknown reliability of 2007 emission controls, followed by the current U.S. recession.
Chapter 1, among other things, reviews the economic power of the great industry built on heavy-duty vehicles and their users. Each year it accounts for billions of dollars in national income and millions of jobs: design engineers, drivers, manufacturing and maintenance technicians, materials handlers, and vehicle sales.
Unlike the makers of light-duty vehicles, which are dominated by a few very large companies (General Motors, Ford, and Toyota), manufacturers of trucks and buses are extremely varied in scale and depend on a web of suppliers, subcontractors, and service industries of all sizes and shapes. Even the largest builders of Class 8 trucks—Daimler, Navistar, PACCAR, and Volvo—each sell 18,000 to 80,000 units annually, and their relative market shares shift. For many medium-duty trucks, the manufacturer of record is essentially a body or equipment builder. The chassis and power train come from one of the major vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), but the body builder creates the final vehicle configuration. This approach is common for vehicles such as concrete mixers, school buses, utility trucks, and delivery trucks. In many cases the manufacturer of record has limited engineering resources and also limited influence over the fuel consumption of the vehicle. Even major vehicle OEMs sometimes buy components such as the engine, transmission, and axles, all of which have a significant impact on fuel consumption. Tractors and trailers are never built by the same company, and they are often not owned by the same company in actual operation. Even though the tractor-trailer truck’s