Sales of vehicles to commercial fleets from nine manufactures increased 11.2% to 74,431 in April from a year ago, as fleet managers are submitting their orders for 2020 models ahead of manufacturer deadlines in the next few months.
Sales of trucks, vans, and SUVs increased 11.7% to 67,287, while sales of passenger cars increased 6.7% to 7,144. March commercial sales also exceeded 11%.
"We have seen a nice jump in orders in April, and in fact we are seeing a record number of units on order," said Tom Coffey, senior vice president of sales for Merchants Fleet. "A good bit of the accelerated order placement, which is not uncommon for this time of year, we believe can be attributed to approaching OEM build out dates."
For the year so far, sales to commercial fleets have increased 6.6% to 268,644. Truck-based sales have increased 9.3% to 239,204, while car sales have declined 10.8% to 29,440.
April sales to government fleets from four manufacturers were flat with a 0.3% increase to 25,082. Truck-based sales increased 6.2% to 21,920 and car sales fell 27.7% to 3,162. For the year, government sales have increased 3.7% to 85,112. Truck sales have increased 5.9% to 72,011 and car sales have declined 6.6% to 13,101.
Daily rental sales from nine manufacturers declined 6.5% to 141,403 units. Truck-based sales fell 5.4% to 87,544 units, while car sales declined 8.3% to 53,841 units. Year-to-date sales have increased 3.1% to 693,278 vehicles with a 6.9% decline in car sales to 257,376 and a 10.7% increase in truck-based sales to 438,210 units.
For all three segments, fleet sales in April declined 0.9% from a year ago to 240,898 units with a 1.9% gain in truck sales to 176,751 and an 8.1% decline in car sales to 64,147. For the year so far, sales into the three fleet segments have increased 4.1% to 1.04 million. While truck-based sales have increased 8.5% to 740,432, car sales have fallen 7.3% to 299,881.