According to the IHS Quarterly Commercial Vehicle Report for September 2014, new commercial vehicle registrations for GVW 3-8 vehicles for the first nine months of the 2014 calendar year were 488,966 units and represented an increase of 13.9% over the 429,451 new units registered during the same period in the 2013 calendar year. Importantly, new registrations in the nine-month period are almost double the level reported during the first nine months of the 2009 calendar year. The strong performance in the first nine months of the calendar year was aided by an 18.9% increase in new registrations of GVW 8 vehicles.
IHS also reports, a example of just how strong the market is for GVW 3-8 vehicles, new registrations during the third quarter of the 2014 calendar year were 176,632 units and they represented the highest level of new registrations of GVW 3-8 vehicles in any quarter since the third quarter of the 2006 calendar year. New registrations in the third quarter of the 2014 calendar year were up 15.5% from the same quarter in the 2013 calendar year.
New registrations in the most recent quarter reflect the strong order and production schedules that have been reported by manufacturers. The significant increase in new registrations of GVW 3-8 vehicles during the quarter resulted from a 22.3% increase in GVW 8 new registrations from the comparable quarter in the 2013 calendar year. New GVW 8 registrations of 59,327 units were the strongest since the last quarter of the 2006 calendar year when GVW 8 new registrations were 64,332 units and were highly influenced by the push to obtain units prior to the change in diesel emission standards.
GVW 8 new registrations in the quarter were highly influenced by the registrations of new units by fleets operating 500+ units.
In a typical reporting period, either GVW 3 or GVW 8 vehicles will be the largest volume GVW and these two GVWs will foster the most conversation and analysis. However, another way to look at the performance of new registrations is to look at it in three buckets: GVW 3, GVWs 4-7 and GVW 8. This type of aggregation makes sense since GVW 3 vehicles are primarily heavy pick-ups and vans and GVW 8 vehicles are primarily long and medium conventional tractors. In GVWs 4-7 there is a wide variety of straight-trucks and chassis that get modified to meet the needs of various vocational applications.
When the market was at record levels in the 2006 calendar year and during the decline and bottoming in the 2009 calendar year, GVW 4-7 new registrations during the first nine months of each calendar year represented the largest group of new registrations. Once the market started to recover, the three groups had mixed results depending on fleets that were in the market and the purchase behavior by rental and leasing companies.
During the first nine months of the 2014 calendar, each of the three GVW segments exceeded 150,000 new registrations for the first time since the 2006 calendar year. Additionally, the three segments were relatively close in overall volume as GVW 8 new registrations were only slightly better than the other two segments. While GVW 8 vehicles may be leading the market’s strengthening during the 2014 calendar year, the market’s improvement is the result of a strong performance in each of these three segments.
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