ORLANDO, FL – Mack secured a spot in the market for linehaul trucks through the recent release of its Anthem tractor, and the company believes the overall market for such trucks is also on the rise.
“The market as we see it is switching more to longhaul from where it’s been,” said Jonathan Randall, senior vice president – sales, during a briefing at the American Trucking Associations’ annual meeting.
Year to date, highway tractors accounted for 41.8% of U.S. and Canadian Class 8 vehicle registrations as of August. In 2016 the share was closer to 46%. Randall predicted the share will continue to climb into the high 40s.
“This is why we believe it was a perfect time to introduce what we introduced,” he said, referring to the Mack Anthem. “It really puts Mack back in that segment in a big way.”
“When we launched it the phone started ringing. That hasn’t stopped,” Randall added, referring to order intakes as being “extremely strong”.
Granite and Pinnacle models will share the truck’s interior beginning in 2018.
Construction vehicles accounted for 15.6% of the Class 8 market as of August, compared to 12-13% just years earlier.
Overall, the company has raised its North American forecast for 2017 Class 8 truck sales to a market-wide 235,000 units, up from 225,000 predicted earlier in the year. Forecasts for 2018, expected in the next three to four weeks, are expected to be higher still.
“Things from an economic standpoint remain strong,” Randall added, referring to increasing manufacturing activity and construction, the latter of which represents a core segment for the Mack brand. Freight volumes and rates also appear to be improving.
The company itself has invested US $84 million into its Lehigh Valley Operations manufacturing facility, realizing efficiency gains and supporting the Anthem launch that will begin production in the first quarter.
Dealers themselves have invested US $600 million in facilities since 2010, and there are 30 active construction projects within the network today.