INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mack Trucks saw orders for its sleeper tractors surge 221% last year, reinforcing a strong market acceptance for its new Mack Anthem.
John Walsh, vice-president of marketing with Mack, said the sleeper truck industry as a whole was up 150%, so Mack outpaced the industry’s growth. He made the comments during a press briefing at the Work Truck Show. Walsh also reported Mack’s retail sales rose 18% in 2018, and its build rate climbed 40%.
“Wow, what a year,” he said of the 2018 Class 8 truck market, noting NAFTA retail sales totaled 310,000 units, marking the fourth strongest year in history. “We expect 2019 is going to be a strong year, even if we see a drop-off in the economy, largely because of the industry backlog. All OEMs, including Mack, have a heckuva order backlog to build through.”
Mack expects retail sales to be equally strong this year, with possible upward pressure. Mack is forecasting retail sales of 310,000 units again this year.
In addition to a resurgence in the highway segment, Mack is also benefiting from strong construction demand.
“We feel we have a lot of good momentum coming into this year,” said Walsh.
Mack then introduced two new products: standard shock absorbers for factory-installed auxiliary axles, and an over-the-air (OTA) Parameter Plus package that allows fleets to conduct more OTA parameter updates.
Tim Wrinkle, construction product manager with Mack, said the Granite’s standard vertical shock absorber reduces inputs from the road.
“Two things you’re going to get out of this is an improvement in total cost of ownership and driver comfort,” Wrinkle said. The extra dampening will extend component and tire life, and the driver will appreciate a smoother ride.
The OTA Parameter Plus subscription package is available now for model year 2018 and newer Mack Trucks with GuardDog Connect. Since 2017, Wrinkle said 350 customers have signed up to take advantage of over-the-air updates. They’ve performed more than 2,100 updates collectively, saving 1,900 days of downtime.
Currently, customers get two OTA updates in the first year of ownership. But customers who want to make more frequent updates to parameters such as max road speed, idle time, etc., can now have up to 50 updates per truck each year with the new Parameter Plus package. To sign up, call the Mack OneCall center at 800-866-1177.
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