ATLANTA, GA – Mack Trucks is bullish on the state of the truck market and overall economy. Maybe bulldoggish would be a better choice of words given the trademark dogs mounted on the hood of its trucks.
“The overall outlook for the U.S. economy remains encouraging,” says Jonathan Randall, senior vice president – sales, referring to measures from the U.S. Gross Domestic Product to manufacturing activity, spending, and inventories. Construction is particularly strong, and that is one of Mack’s key market segments.
The company has adjusted its forecast for North American Class 8 truck sales in this environment, up to 225,000 units from an originally projected 215,000 sales. And Randall says he wouldn’t be surprised if sales were higher than that at the end of the year.
Mack’s market share is holding relatively steady in the U.S. While the share has slipped somewhat in Canada, he expects the company will return to its traditional 8% market share by the end of the year.
“Where we saw the largest drop was the LCOE (low cabover) in the refuse market,” Randall says, noting that the timing of deliveries was responsible for most of the sales shift. Mack’s truck normally accounts for 75% of its segment, but levels hit about 50% at the beginning of the year. It has since returned to levels in the mid-60s and rising.
“We’ve got a lot of deliveries in queue. We’ve got a strong backlog yet to be delivered this year,” he says. “Same thing on regional haul. We’ve got a good, strong backlog of trucks yet to be even built this year, with customers’ names on them, that are going to get into the market before the end of the year.”
“It is a great time to be a bulldog,” Randall added, referring to the company’s strong positions in construction and refuse markets, and a growing share of the regional haul business. The recently released Anthem highway tractor also taps into the longhaul market that accounts for 41% of Class 8 sales this year. It’s usually more than that.
The longhaul segment is going to take its rightful place at about 50% of sales in the next couple of years, he predicted.
“It’s really a good time in the industry and it’s a good time for Mack Trucks.”
* this story has been updated to include comments about the refuse segment.