Top 5 Heavy Duty Truck Manufacturers on the Market in 2015

This graph displays the distribution of heavy duty trucks among the top 5 most commonly seen manufacturers currently on the market.

Key Takeaways for Decision Makers
SELLER: Now is certainly not the time to sell an International with so many available for both day and sleeper cab. On the other hand, pricing for Peterbilts continues to rise year over year, making now seem like the right time to begin thinking about selling for an optimal profit.

Trucks falling within the Model Years 2005 through 2015, the following manufacturers ranked the most commonly seen on the used truck market thus far in 2015:

  • International
  • Freightliner
  • Kenworth
  • Volvo
  • Peterbilt

In terms of distribution among the different model years, the majority of the used trucks by all five manufacturers fall between years 2007 and 2012. Freightliner and International very clearly dominate the day cab market for used trucks. 44.4% of the day cab tractors on the market this year are Freightliner models and 41.1% are International. This leaves only 14.5% to be distributed among the remaining three heavy duty truck manufacturers. Not only does International hold a large percentage of day cabs on the market, but also the number of sleepers. 49.9% of the sleeper tractors are International models followed by Kenworth at 24% and Volvo at 22.6%. Comparing average resale pricing from the first quarter of 2013 to Q1 of 2014, Freightliner trucks saw the largest drop at 9.7% followed by the only other manufacturer with a drop in price, Volvo at 2.4%. Kenworth trucks saw minimal changes while both International and Peterbilt increased well above 2013. In 2015, both Kenworth and Peterbilt saw significant price increases followed by Volvo then International. Freightliner also saw a small increase rounding out the entire top 5 group with price increases from 2014 to 2015.

The above chart shows the year over year average price trending for the top five manufacturers.

International shows that most of their used trucks currently selling fall between 2012 and 2009 model years. 61.3% of the International heavy duty used truck market falls between these years. The model year with the largest amount of volume thus far in 2015 is the 2009s. International also has the smallest percentage of their trucks on the market falling in the 2014 and 2015 model year in comparison to the remaining manufacturers. This can be interpreted as the turnover rate is not as short for International trucks as it is with other heavy trucks. Comparing the number of sleeper to the number of non-sleeper trucks on the market, International comes in second as the most evenly distributed volume between the two cab types. Currently, 72.3% of the International trucks are non-sleepers while the remaining 27.7% are sleeper trucks. Overall, average pricing is up in 2015 for International trucks by 7.2% since Q1 of 2014, which is a continuation of the increase from the first quarter of 2013. This coincides with the continuation of a much younger average age for these trucks. In 2013, the majority of the International trucks were 2007 models and older, but a shift closer to 2010 models occurred in 2014 followed by a much larger volume between model years 2012 and 2009.

Looking specifically at Freightliner trucks in 2015, the majority of the volume falls between model years 2009 and 2006. The most popular year that is currently on the market is the 2007 nearly doubling the volume for other model years. Only 23.7% of the used Freightliners were model years between 2015 and 2010. This is a result of either 1) fleet and truck owners are holding onto these models longer or 2) the demand for the younger Freightliner trucks is so high they are unable to stay on the market long enough to keep track of their sales. Freightliner has the largest percentage of their used trucks selling as day cabs. Only 1.8% of the current volume is sleeper cab tractors. This coincides with the general use of Freightliner trucks in comparison to counterparts such as Kenworth and Volvo. Freightliner trucks saw a 9.7% drop in average pricing between Q1 of 2013 and 2014. This does not mean prices in 2013 were overall higher than 2014, only that Q1 prices were higher in 2013. The number of trucks in the older and middle model years such as 2011 through 2007 increased in 2014 over the 2013 distribution. The trucks in 2015 are showing average ages even younger to coincide with the 1% increase in Q1 pricing over Q1 2014.

Among the model year distribution for Kenworth, they are the only manufacturer with greater than 10% of their volume on 2015 models. 71.8% of their trucks that are currently on the market are between the 2015 and 2011 model years. This resulted in Kenworth having the lowest average age on the heavy duty used truck market. Also, Kenworth has the most evenly distributed volume between sleeper and day cabs on the market. They are also one of only two manufacturers with more sleeper trucks being sold than day cabs. 38% of Kenworth trucks currently on the market are day cab tractors whereas 62% are sleeper cabs. Pricing on Kenworth trucks was relatively stagnant in comparing the first quarter of 2013 to 2014, but there was a significant increase in average prices between Q1 of 2014 and 2015. The volume distribution in 2013 was heavily weighted on models prior to 2009 whereas in Q1 of 2014 the trucks were more evenly distributed between model years. This is quite interesting given the small change in average pricing with such an age distribution change. The 2015 volume thus far has shown most of these used trucks to fall between model years 2013 and 2009 with quite a large amount of 2015 models entering the market. As previously stated, Kenworth has the largest amount of 2015 models on the used market so far among the top manufacturers.

In terms of model distribution among the years, Volvo has a large jump in volume between model years 2012 and 2009 holding 65.8% of the Volvo trucks. They also have the second largest percentage of 2015 distribution among the top 5 manufacturers. 6.6% of Volvo’s model year distribution falls on the 2015s. Volvo trucks are also primarily sleeper cabs at 94.8% of their used trucks being sold as sleeper versus only 5.2% of the trucks as day cabs. Volvo trucks are primarily used as on-highway long haul vehicles thus the need for sleeper cabs. This will also have an impact on the average mileage usage for these used trucks as well. There was a slight decrease in average pricing between Q1 of 2013 and Q1 of 2014 at 2.4%. The increase in Q1 of 2015 over compensated for this drop raising the average prices on the market up to the third highest priced manufacturer for heavy duty trucks. The model year distribution did not change drastically to cause this change either. In 2014 there was a much more even spread of volume among model years than in 2013, but the 2015 numbers so far are showing dispersal heavily weighted towards 2009 models and younger. This will have an impact on average pricing for Volvo trucks, but should not be assumed to be the only reason for the pricing increase.

Peterbilt volume shows a relatively normal distribution among the most recent 10 model years. There is a large jump in the quantity of their trucks between model years 2011 and 2008. Peterbilt shows a model year scattering slightly different than the remaining manufacturers with small tails and quite an even supply within those middle years. In terms of cab type, Peterbilt is heavily skewed towards day cab tractors. 96.5% of the used Peterbilts currently on the market in 2015 are day cabs whereas only 3.5% of the trucks are sleepers. This makes their supply of sleepers on the market for all five manufacturers quite small in comparison to the others. They are the third highest volume day cabs among these manufacturers behind the Freightliner and International domination. Pricing for Peterbilt trucks has been nothing but positive in the past 2 years. Average pricing in Q1 of 2014 was up significantly from 2013 showing the second highest percentage increase year over year. The 2015 prices so far are showing an even larger jump allowing Peterbilt to be the highest priced trucks among these manufacturers for heavy duty sleeper/day cab tractors. This is not a result of a shift in average age on the market either. Average ages are slightly lower in 2015 overall for Peterbilt, but volume is down possibly resulting in higher demand driving these prices up.