Ford retained its dominant market share in new commercial vehicle registrations in all gross vehicle weights in 2013, and Mercedes-Benz saw a sharp uptick in Sprinter van registrations, according to Polk.
Combined commercial registrations remained flat for the year, reaching 1.25 million units for an increase of 4.3 percent from the prior year, according to the annual Polk report released Wednesday.
During the year, new-vehicle registrations rose 3.8 percent, while used transactions rose 4.7 percent when compared with 2012 volumes. Commercial registrations have been essentially flat for the past three years, averaging 1.245 million vehicles a year, reported Polk (now part of IHS).
Used commercial vehicle registrations have outperformed new commercial vehicle registrations for five years running. Used transactions accounted for 54.3 percent of total commercial vehicle registrations, which was up slightly from the 54.1 percent in 2012.
The report covers mostly trucks because commercial vans often have gross vehicle weights under 10,001 pounds. However, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is included in certain configurations.
New commercial vehicle registrations reached 572,478 in 2013, which includes government registrations as well as leasing and rental. Of the GVW categories, heavy-duty Class 8 fell 4.5 percent, while light-duty Class 3 rose 11.6 percent and medium-duty Class 5 rose 10.5 percent.
In the government sector, registrations continued to advance from 2011 lows as federal, state, and local agencies added 58,049 vehicles into service. Government agencies registered 52,155 vehicles in 2011.
"Our analysis of the new commercial vehicle market indicates that it has been relatively flat over the past ten quarters," said Gary Meteer, director of global commercial vehicle products with IHS Automotive. "The levels of new registrations in the third and fourth quarters of 2013 provide optimism heading into 2014."
Of the 15 brands listed in the IHS/Polk report, Mercedes-Benz led new-vehicle registrations with a 42.2 percent gain from 2012 on the strength of the Sprinter model, which is offered in 3500 and MiniBus models in addition to the light-duty 2500 model.
Ford remains the leading manufacturer of commmercial vehicles and holds a dominant market share in Classes 3-5 with its F-350, F-450, and F-550 Super Duty models. Ford holds a market share of 70.7 percent in Class 5 and 45 percent in Class 3. Chevrolet added 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent market share in Class 3 and Class 5 respectively.
Mitsubishi-Fuso saw the sharpest drop among medium-duty brands with an 18.4 percent fall in 2013.
The report also included used vehicle registrations, which reached 679,400 in 2013. Used Class 8 truck transactions fell as a result of the continued shortage of clean used equipment, according to Meteer.
By Paul Clinton