Top 5 Heavy Duty Truck Manufacturers in 2016

 In Price Digests Blog

Evaluating the top 5 heavy duty trucks falling with the Model Years 2005 through 2016, the following manufacturers ranked the most commonly seen on the used truck market so far in 2016:

  1. International
  2. Volvo
  3. Peterbilt
  4. Freightliner
  5. Kenworth

Looking at the distribution of the model years among these five manufacturers in Q1 of 2016, the majority of the used trucks fell between years 2011 and 2013. 56.8% of the used Freightliners within a twelve year range on the market during Q1 2016 were model years 2011, 2012, or 2013. The same years for Kenworth showed 53.2%, 53.0% for Peterbilt, and 69.8% for Volvo. International had the smallest percentage of their used trucks between those three model years at only 47.4% which was primarily due to a larger amount of older models for sale than the other manufacturers.

The average age for Freightliner in the first quarter of the past four years was down to 5 years in 2016, International was the highest as 6 years followed by Peterbilt and Volvo both at 5 years of age with Kenworth averaging the lowest aged trucks on the market at 4 years old. Among these five manufacturers, Peterbilt and International were identical in their percentage of market share for day cab trucks each at 32%. For sleeper cab trucks, International again held the highest percentage at 41% followed by Volvo at 38%. Given its impact, International clearly had the largest volume in Q1 with 36.8% market share leaving Kenworth at the bottom with only 8.4%.

The overall average pricing on used International trucks between model years 2005 and 2016 throughout the past four years increased year over year until 2016. Comparing the first quarter of 2013 to 2014 prices were up 5.4%, between 2014 and 2015 prices rose another 4.8%, but between 2015 and 2016 prices were down 5.3%. The average age for these trucks was six years old in 2013, 2015, and 2016 leaving 2014 as the exception at five years of age. The drop in age coincides with the larger increase in pricing year over year. The average age of International trucks in 2016 meant the majority of trucks were produced between 2009 and 2012, but in 2015 the most common model year was a 2009.

This indicates that model year is not the most influential on the market, but age is key in being insightful of the current market. There has been quite a shift in model year popularity throughout the past four years. In the first quarter of 2013 the most popular model years was the 2007 with 27.4% market share followed by Q1 of 2014 showing the most popular model year was 2007 again. In 2015 the most popular model year shifted to the 2009’s at 22.9% market share for the quarter and in 2016 the most popular was a 2012 with 21.1% market share. In terms of day cab versus sleeper cab trucks, in 2016 the majority of the International trucks were sleepers. 58.5% of the used trucks on the market were sleepers versus 41.5% of the trucks left as day cabs. International had the most evenly distributed volume between sleeper and day cab trucks among these top five manufacturers for heavy duty trucks.


Volvo volume grew significantly in 2016 over 2015. Volume was lower in 2013 than 2014 as well showing large year over year variability in market popularity during the first quarter. Thanks to the large increase in 2016 their market share percentage grew making them the second most popular manufacturer on the heavy duty market for Q1 2016. Prices followed a similar trend to International with increases between 2013 – 2014 and 2014 – 2015 followed by a decline in 2016. However, the percentages were a bit higher. Q1 of 2013 to 2014 was the smallest year over year change up 2.6% with a much larger increase into 2015 up 10.3% from Q1 of 2014.

The drop in 2016 was also larger than International down 13.4%. Volvo has shown some of the lowest average ages among these five manufacturers at five years of age during 2013, 2014, and 2016. During 2015, there was a decrease to 4 years of age for the average. The most popular model year on the market in Q1 2016 was 2012 with 31.6% market share. This was only a slight change from the largest market share model year in 2015 being the 2011’s at 25.9%. During 2014 the most popular model year was a 2009 and in 2013 it was a 2008 model year truck. As frequently noted in the Monthly Commercial Truck Report, Volvo primarily consists of sleeper trucks. So far in 2016, 93.5% of their used trucks have been sleeper cabs. This allowed them to have the second largest market share percentage of sleeper trucks within these five makes at 38.1% only 2% below International.


In 2015, Peterbilt had the fifth largest volume on the heavy duty used truck market for the first quarter. The volume has nearly doubled since then, making them the third most popular heavy duty truck. With the change in volume year over year, the average prices were impacted as well. Between 2013 and 2014 prices were up only 1.5% followed by a 20.3% increase between 2014 and 2015, which was highly likely influenced by the drop in volume. As the volume rose by such a large amount between Q1 of 2015 and 2016, the prices dropped 11.9%. Despite this drop, Peterbilt remained the second highest priced manufacturer among these five. Peterbilt is the only manufacturer who has consistently shown an average age of five years from 2013 through 2016.

The most popular model year for Peterbilt during Q1 2013 was the 2009, which was the same in 2014. This shifted in 2015 with the most popular model being the 2012, which remained consistent in 2016. The distribution of model year popularity has shifted slightly dropping off volume on the older years such as 2007 and 2008’s by 2015 thus causing the average age on the market not to shift. As previously noted, Peterbilt was tied with International for the largest market share of day cab trucks on the market during Q1 2016 at 32%. They only held 5.4% of the sleeper market, which was dominated by International and Volvo. Peterbilt trucks alone in 2016 have been 84.3% day cabs and only 15.7% sleepers. Peterbilt has the lowest percentage of market share on the sleeper market of these five manufacturers.


The number of Freightliner trucks available for purchase during Q1 2016 was significantly lower than it has been in the previous three years. Since 2013 volume has decreased on these trucks for Q1, but this year has shown the largest drop. This had a large impact on the drop in market share allowing Volvo and Peterbilt to grow. Freightliner trucks were some of the only ones with an overall average price increase over all four years. Between 2013 and 2014 prices were up 5.4% followed by 29.1% in 2015. As one of the only increases between Q1 2015 and Q1 2016 at 11.3%, they are no longer the lowest priced trucks for sale as they have been the past three years. Along with the drop in volume impacting price, the age has dropped over the past few years on Freightliner trucks as well. In 2014 the average age was 7 years followed by 6 years in 2015 and 5 in 2016.

The most popular model year during Q1 2013 was the 2007 with 38.0% market share for the quarter, which remained the most popular for both 2014 and 2015. This was followed by the 2012s being the most popular in 2016. Within the day cab market for heavy duty trucks, Freightliner held only 20.5% market share during Q1 2016. They are much less influential on the sleeper market with only 10.1% market share so far in 2016. Freightliner follows the Peterbilt trend in that they have a larger percentage of day cab trucks on the market than sleeper with 64.5% day cabs and 35.5% sleepers in Q1 2016.


The amount of Kenworth trucks available for sale during Q1 of 2016 was nearly half of the number of remaining manufacturers. There was a spike in volume in both 2014 and 2015 before the drop in 2016. The volume was almost identical between Q1 2014 and 2015. Despite the drop this year, their numbers are not as low as they were back in 2013. Pricing for Kenworth showed increases through all three years. Between Q1 2013 and 2014 the increase was only 1.0%, which was the smallest year over year increase for all five manufacturers during that time period. The 2014 to 2015 price increase was much higher at 18.5% as the third largest price increase in 2015. Kenworth was also one of only two manufacturers who had average sale prices increase between Q1 2015 and 2016 up 6.9%.

Kenworth also has some of the youngest aged trucks on the market with an average age of 5 for both 2013 and 2014 dropping to 4 years of age in 2015 and 2016. This drop in average age between 2014 and 2015 appeared to have quite an impact on pricing given the large increase despite volume remaining the same. The most popular model year truck for Kenworth was the 2009 during Q1 2013 shifting to the 2010 in 2014. In both 2015 and 2016 the most popular model year truck was the 2012 at 38.5% and 29.4% of their respective quarterly market volume. One notable change was the increase in 2016 model year trucks during Q1 2016. Among all five manufacturers, Kenworth had the largest percentage of their trucks in the 2016 model year. 22.3% of the Kenworth trucks on the market so far this year have been 2016 model years. Kenworth day cab versus sleeper cab distribution is similar to Freightliner with 63.5% of their trucks available for resale this year as day cabs and 36.5% as sleepers.