Commercial Vehicle Registrations Up 4.3% Since 2012

Over the past five years, used commercial vehicle registrations have outperformed new commercial vehicle registrations, even while used registrations have declined from their peak.

1.25 million commercial vehicles registered last year, with used commercial vehicles outpacing new

Southfield, MI – Combined new and used commercial vehicle (GVWs 3-8) registrations in the U.S. during the 2013 calendar year were 1.25 million units, an increase of 4.3 percent over the 2012 calendar year, according to recent analysis from Polk, which was recently acquired by IHS, a leading global source of information, insight and analytics.

During the 2013 calendar year, new registrations were up 3.8 percent and used transactions were up 4.7 percent over 2012 volumes. Combined commercial vehicle registrations, while up from the 2012 calendar year, have been virtually flat over the past three years at an average of 1.245 million units each year.

Over the past five years, used commercial vehicle registrations have outperformed new commercial vehicle registrations. While used registrations have declined from their peak and new registrations have increased since the market declines of 2009, used transactions still accounted for 54.3 percent of total commercial vehicle registrations in the 2013 calendar year, up slightly from the 54.1 percent achieved during 2012.

New Commercial Vehicle Registrations top 572,000 in 2013
572,000 new commercial vehicles were registered during 2013, an increase of just 3.8 percent from 2012.  Contributing factors included a 4.5 percent decline in GVW 8 new registrations and each of the other segments posted gains over 2012 levels.  Both GVW 3 (+11.6 percent) and GVW 5 (+10.5 percent, a record level of new registrations for a calendar year) vehicles led the industry with double digit year-over-year increases.

“Our analysis of the new commercial vehicle market indicates that it has been relatively flat over the past ten quarters,” said Gary Meteer, director, global commercial vehicle products at IHS Automotive.  However; the levels of new registrations in the third and fourth quarters of 2013 provide optimism heading into 2014.”

A historical look at new commercial vehicle registrations by GVW is as follows:

VIN defined Gross Vehicle Weight

2013CY

(000’s)

2012CY

(000’s)

2011CY

(000’s)

% CHG

2013 vs. 2012

% CHG

2012 vs. 2011

% CHG

2011 vs. 2010

GVW 3

190

170

151

11.6

12.9

22.9

GVW 4

40

38

35

6.7

10.3

8.5

GVW 5

53

48

38

10.5

26.8

30.0

GVW 6

44

43

38

1.6

12.9

29.1

GVW 7

56

54

46

3.7

17.0

.6

GVW 8

189

198

164

-4.5

20.9

40.5

Total

572

551

472

3.8

17.0

25.5

Source: IHS Automotive, based on Polk new commercial vehicle registration data.

Used Registrations Grow Nearly Five Percent; Used Equipment in Demand
Used commercial vehicle registrations recorded during 2013 reached 679,000, an increase of 4.7 percent over 2012 and the second highest recorded annual transactions since Polk (now IHS Automotive) began tracking used transactions in 2004.  Used transactions peaked in 2011 at 791,300 units.

Strong demand continues for clean used equipment to replace older equipment as exhibited by year-over-year increases in each of the GVWs for 2013. 

“The continued strength of used commercial vehicle transactions during the 2013 calendar year reflects a competitive market for clean used equipment as it becomes available,” said Meteer.  “We see high demand for clean used equipment for  the replacement of significantly older (pre-2000 Model Year) equipment and our team continues to monitor the age of the vehicle population within each GVW,” he continued.  “Our analysis indicates that over the past five calendar years more than 1.5 million pre-2000 model year commercial vehicles have been phased out, replaced by newer used equipment.”

Used GVW 8 transactions in 2013 reflected performance lower than historical levels as a result of the continued shortage of clean used equipment, primarily based on the extremely low level of new GVW 8 registrations during the 2008-2010 calendar years. 

Used Commercial Vehicle Registrations for 2013 Calendar Year

VIN-Defined Gross Vehicle Weight

2013 Used Commercial Vehicle Transactions (000’s)

Percentage Change from 2012

2013 Share of Used Commercial Vehicles

GVW 3

206

7.1

30.4

GVW 4

63

6.3

9.5

GVW 5

36

9.3

5.2

GVW 6

59

8.3

8.6

GVW 7

54

5.4

7.9

GVW 8

261

1.1

38.4

TOTAL

679

4.7

100.0

Source: IHS Automotive, based on Polk new commercial vehicle registration data.

From a historic perspective, between 2004 and 2008, used commercial vehicle registrations accounted for between 38 and 48 percent of all commercial registrations. Since then, used registrations have accounted for between 54 and 64 percent per year.

Polk has been providing businesses involved with commercial vehicles data and solutions for decades and with the recently announced acquisition of Polk by IHS, the companies’ combined knowledge and expertise provides an even stronger resource for these businesses as Polk and IHS connect and expand their services. Current IHS and Polk customers now have the support of two strong organizations that can provide a historical view of the commercial business on a global basis, an analysis of current commercial vehicle trends and a forecast of future product and market trends to assist with their decision making process.  

For a complete copy of the 2013 year end commercial vehicle report, you may download it here

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About IHS (www.ihs.com)
IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs more than 8,000 people in 31 countries around the world.

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