ORLANDO, Fla. – Mack Trucks will hold its ground in construction and refuse segments where it has traditionally been strong, while growing its longhaul segment presence.
That was the commitment from Jonathan Randall, senior vice-president of sales, who spoke at a Mack Trucks press conference at the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) annual Management Conference & Exhibition. Randall is expecting a healthy truck market for the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. Mack recently upped its projections for 2017 North American Class 8 truck retail sales from 225,000 units to 235,000.
“Next year’s forecast is going to be higher than this,” he said, citing a strong economy, increasing manufacturing levels, and steady construction activity.
Randall said Mack is projecting more demand for longhaul highway trucks, and now with the introduction of the new Mack Anthem, the truck maker is planning to take a bigger bite out of this segment. This year, only 41.8% of Class 8 truck registrations in the U.S. and Canada through August have been for longhaul tractors, down from the traditional range of about 48%.
“Beginning next year, this number is going to start to climb back up into its rightful high-40s as percentage of the total market,” Randall predicted. “Anthem puts Mack back in that segment in a big way. We hadn’t been a major player in the longhaul tall sleeper segment and now we’re back in a big way.”
So far, 2017 has been a good year for Mack, which has retained the 1% market share improvement it captured last year.
“We are going to continue to maintain that, and the only thing we’re going to do from here – especially with the Anthem – is grow that market share,” Randall vowed.
He said interest in the new truck is high.
“The order intake has been extremely strong for the new product,” he said.
Mack donated a new Anthem to the ATA’s Share the Road program, which promotes safe driving around big rigs.
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