Commercial vehicle sales continued to post gains in the first quarter of 2019 with sales up by 12.7%. Through March, medium-duty truck sales were up 2.0% compared to this time last year. Meanwhile, heavy-duty trucks posted a very solid sales gain of 24.5%.
For most manufacturers, build slots for 2019 were filled early in the year. Although truck orders have slowed in recent months from high levels last year, long order backlogs should lead to robust sales through 2019. As the year progresses, we expect tight supplies of new class 8 trucks to prop up values and keep demand steady for used trucks.
The current state of the economy is good. A strong labor market, accelerating wage growth and high consumer confidence will keep consumers spending money this year. We expect sales of commercial vehicles to come in at or slightly above their 2018 levels.