Freight markets are sluggish but demand for heavy trucks remains strong, particularly for Mack Trucks and the vocational segment in which it thrives.
Jonathan Randall, president of Mack Trucks North America, gave a market update at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition Oct. 16. He called for a soft landing for the U.S. economy and noted the Class 8 truck market this year is on pace to total 330,000 units in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“Our forecast says any pullback we see is going to be in the longhaul business,” he said.
Industrial and commercial construction continues to drive demand for vocational trucks, offsetting softness in residential construction.
“Those markets continue to bolster Mack’s order intake,” Randall said.
Mack recently opened up 2024 order books and has seen “very robust order intake,” he added. “Our core segments are performing very strong.”
However, he acknowledged “some hesitancy” among Class 8 linehaul fleet buyers. “It’s not that there’s not demand, but there’s some hesitancy in placing some of those orders. We’re feeling that a little bit, as are our dealers,” he said.
Linehaul tractors account for 49% of the Class 8 market this year, down from 52% in 2022, while vocational’s share climbed to 26%.
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