In a market where demand is exceeding supply, Mack Trucks has still been able to pick up some market share in both Canada and the North American market as a whole.
Mack’s Class 8 market share grew about 1% in Canada this year, to 7.2% through August, according to Ward data. The U.S./Canada market combined has seen Mack grow about half a percent, according to Jonathan Randall, senior vice-president, sales and commercial operations. He was giving a Canadian market update to Newcom Media editors along with Steve Jugovic, regional vice-president, Canada.
The introduction of the new MD truck has also allowed Mack to stake a claim in the medium-duty segment, with about a 3% share.
“We have gone from zero to north of 3% market share in less than a year,” Randall said, noting it would likely be higher if the MD could be spec’d without air brakes, making it accessible to a larger pool of drivers.
Unfortunately, Mack, like all other OEMs, has seen production limited by a shortage of key components – everything from plastic resins, to microprocessors. And Randall sees no end in sight.
“Demand remains extremely strong for the remainder of this year and next year,” he said. “But supply constraints and disruptions, we figure, will continue at least for the foreseeable future. In the first quarter, it felt like things should solidify by the end of this year. As we got further into the year, we recognized that is not going to happen…We think we’re going to be dealing with this for a while.”
Randall likened the situation from a truck maker’s perspective to playing whack-a-mole, with new shortages and challenges popping up each day. But he said being part of the Volvo group has helped the company source parts globally and leverage its global purchasing power. It’s also working more closely with Tier 2 suppliers to ensure they can step up when Tier 1 suppliers are limited.
Randall said there is a priority placed on procuring parts for trucks that are down in the field, even if it means pulling them the factory and getting them to the downed truck. “We always prioritize a truck that’s down,” he said.
Meanwhile, customers who can’t secure build slots are extending trade-in cycles or tacking time onto the end of their leases. “We find that our dealers are creative and flexible in working with their customers to try to make sure customers are still able to service their customers,” Randall said.
Longhaul tractor demand is highest, accounting for 48% of total new truck registrations in the U.S. and Canada this year, Randall noted, up from 42% last year. However, demand for construction trucks is also high, though activity has shifted from commercial construction to residential.
Mack has been celebrating its 100th anniversary in Canada this year, with special events at dealers and customer sites.
“It’s quite an achievement,” said Jugovic. “And we are well positioned to get into our second 100 years.”
Jugovic is excited about major infrastructure projects on the horizon, including the possible rebuilding of the Rogers Center in Toronto, where he expects Mack Trucks to play a significant role.
Randall noted as Mack enters its second century here, the pace of technological advances will only accelerate. He added 95% of Mack Anthems are now spec’d with automated manual transmissions, something he wouldn’t have believed possible 20 years ago.
“It’s been gradual over the last 100 years,” he said of technological advances. “I think the adoption and progression of technologies ratchets up and what would’ve been a 25-year progression is now a five- or 10-year progression.”