MONTREAL, Que. – Slowing Class 8 truck order intake is not a concern to Mack Trucks, according to Roy Horton, director of product strategy, who spoke at an Expocam press conference April 11.
“It’s not an alarming issue at this point in time, it’s something we see as a normal part of the industry,” Horton said, noting backlogs are stretched out through 2019 and Mack is now taking orders for early 2020. “It has been a good, long period of hard demand, which has been good for everyone.”
Mack has been taking full advantage of the strong cycle. In 2018, it increased its production build rate by 30%, increased retail sales by 18%, and saw its sleeper order intake surge 221%, reflecting strong demand for its new Mack Anthem.
“Business is very good, that’s the main message,” Horton said. “With business being very good, orders have started to slow down. Over the last year, orders have been extremely strong; orders have outpaced the industry’s capacity to build and deliver.”
Horton noted Canadian GDP is expected to grow 1.7% this year, and 1.8% in 2020. He said Mack will continue its momentum into this year.
He also credited Mack’s dealer network for its success. It now has 440 service points across North America, including 95 in Canada. Since 2010, these dealers have invested US$700 million into their facilities. They’ve added 80 service points, increased service bays by 60%, more than doubled their population of technicians and added 60% more salespeople.
Mack Laval has joined Camions Montreal and Centre du Camion Ste-Marie to become the third bilingual certified uptime center dealership. There are now 139 certified uptime Mack dealers in North America. They’ve seen their shop efficiency improve by 24%, and reduced truck check-in time by 40 minutes.
Connectivity is also helping Mack reduce downtime. There are now 90,000 Mack trucks carrying GuardDog Connect, which has reduced diagnostic time by 70% and repair times by 21%, Horton said.
Mack Trucks also announced at the show a new battery refresher, that extends battery life. Read more on that here.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies