Second-quarter sales plummeted at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR) even as market share improved at both companies.
DTNA’s Class 8 share for Freightliner and Western Star trucks rose 1.9%, to 39.2%, in the April-to-June period. It is up 0.2 percentage point at 40.1% through the first six months of the year. Its Class 6-7 truck share stood at 35.2%, up 0.8 percentage point from 34.4% a year ago.
PACCAR’s combined Kenworth and Peterbilt share stood at 29.6%, 0.5 percentage point higher than the first half of last year.
The market share deception
Market share can be deceiving. It can rise even when sales are down, as long as the decline is less than that of the competition.
“Especially in North America, the market lost around half of its volume compared to prior-year level,” Martin Daum, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG, said on an earnings call Thursday.”The market environment was already in a cyclical downturn in the first quarter when the pandemic hit the global economy.”
DTNA’s sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks were off 45% at 48,375 for the first six months compared to 87,969 a year ago. They fell 62% to 17,321 from 45,593 in the April-June period a year ago.
PACCAR delivered 9,300 trucks in the U.S. and Canada in the second quarter compared to 30,000 in the same quarter a year ago. For the year through June 30, sales were 31,500 versus 58,900.
Is June order surge sustainable?
Executives for both companies said that after idling plants for five weeks in April and early May, production began to rise.
The leading economic indicator for trucking is new orders. DTNA’s bookings fell to 16,464 in the second quarter, down 30% from 23,589 a year earlier. For the first six months, they are down 9%, at 43,506 compared to 47,835 a year ago.
PACCAR said it has about 33% of new orders for the industry in the first six months of the year.
“I feel like we’re in a good position right now,” PACCAR CEO Preston Feight said on the company’s earnings call with analysts Tuesday. “We have a good backlog, good visibility, and we’re substantially full through the third quarter and taking orders in the fourth quarter and into the first part of next year.”