Polk says commercial vehicle, trailer registrations on the rise

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Commercial vehicle registrations in the US surged 9.6% over the first nine months of 2010 compared to the same period last year, Polk reports.

There were 269,650 commercial vehicles (Classes 3-8) registered in the US during that time. At the same time, the used commercial vehicle market set a new record for registrations during the nine-month period, with 524,500 new registrations reported by Polk. That is a 18.7% increase over the same nine-month period in 2009.

Combined, there were 794,200 new and used commercial vehicle registrations in the US over the nine-month period, a 15.5% increase over the same time period in 2009.

There was also significant growth in new trailer registrations. Registrations of new trailers were up 42.2% year-over-year during the first nine months of 2010, Polk reports. About 72% of new trailer registrations were for van trailers.

“While new trailer registrations remain below record levels set in 1995, this improvement is significant and indicates that the market for both commercial power units and trailers has turned around after three consecutive down years,” said Gary Meteer, director, sales and client services, at Polk. “There is a strong correlation between GVW 8 registrations and the registration of new commercial trailers through the first nine months of 2010 – as both have shown increases.”

The record registrations for used trucks represents opportunities for the aftermarket, Polk concluded, noting this is the first year that registrations of used commercial vehicles have seen such strong growth.

“The significant increase in used commercial vehicle registrations so far this year is indicative of an improving business climate as companies update their equipment with newer models,” said Meteer. “Large fleet owners and operators are upgrading to new vehicles, and therefore the smaller fleet companies and independent owner operators have great opportunities to find available clean used equipment.”

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