Commercial vehicle registrations down: IHS Markit

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SOUTHFIELD, MI – Canada had 16,495 new Class 3-8 commercial vehicle registrations in the first quarter of this year, down 4% from the same quarter in 2016, according to IHS Markit‘s Quarterly Commercial Vehicle Report.

The largest levels for a first quarter were reported in 2012, when there were 17,476 such registrations, and in the last five years the first quarters have been within 1,500 units of that peak, the analysts say.

Canada now has 1.355 million Class 3-8 registered vehicles, 40% of which are Class 8 models and 32% are Class 3.

In the first quarter of 2017, Class 3 new registrations were up 4.8%, while Class 8 was down 16.2% when compared to the same quarter last year. The Class 3 registrations accounted for 45.8% of the commercial market, and were at their highest level since 2000. Class 8 represented 32.1% of the market, which was at its lowest level since 2000.

“Typically, new registrations of GVW 3 and GVW 8 vehicles would account for approximately the same share,” the report finds. “However, with the significantly lower new registrations for GVW 8 vehicles, the gap between the two GVWs share is at one of its largest.”

Overall, there was about 13 million commercial vehicles registered in the U.S. at the end of the quarter, representing 60,000 more units when compared to the first quarter of 2016. About 28% of Class 3-8 vehicle on U.S. highways are 1999 Model Years or older.

New U.S. registrations for commercial trailers above 24 feet long were down 20.5% from the same quarter in 2016. They had reached a record level in 2016.

While diesel was the fuel of choice for 73.5% of the U.S. registrations, its share has been declining because of the high penetration of gasoline in Class 3 and 4 models. Registrations with factory-installed Compressed Natural Gas engines were down 13.1% when compared to the first quarter of 2016.


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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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