Large Fleets Forecast to Buy More Trucks in 2018

- Sales of Class 8 tractors are expected to grow as much as 20 percent in 2018 as big-fleet truck buyers begin spending again after having reduced their capital expenditures dramatically in 2016 and 2017, executives said at the National Truck Equipment Association’s annual Work Truck Show.
“We expect to see a significant bounce for tractor sales in 2018 as big fleets (more than 500 trucks) return to the market,” said Steven Latin-Kasper, director of market data and research for NTEA, during a session on the outlook of the work truck industry. That bounce may be short-lived, however, as Class 8 sales may fall off again slightly in 2019 due to saturation, Latin-Kasper added.

About 60 percent of Class 8 new-vehicle registrations over the past two years came from smaller fleets — those with fewer than 500 trucks, said Andrej Divis, director of Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle Research with IHS, speaking with Latin-Kasper. “We see signs that the big buyers are coming back in 2018, but we’re not sure how long that will last,” he said.

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