Manufacturing Activity, Transport Investment to Boost MD/HD Truck & Bus Sales


Cleveland, OH, February 16, 2022 — Medium- and heavy-duty (MD/HD) truck and bus retail sales in the US are forecast to grow 4.2% yearly in unit terms through 2025 from a depressed base in 2020, according to Medium- & Heavy-Duty Trucks & Buses: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Retail sales will benefit from growing manufacturing shipments and mining output, as well as bourgeoning investment in transportation, in part fueled by investments in electric trucks and buses. Increased federal aid for schools will enable many school districts to invest in new buses, including battery-electric buses. Further sales will be restricted by ongoing competition from alternative means of transporting freight (e.g., railroads). In addition, demand will continue to be limited by the ability of fleet operators to overhaul rather than replace aging vehicles. However, ongoing developments in MD/HD trucks and buses (such as higher fuel efficiency levels) will drive some replacement demand. Despite gains in overall economic activity – including increased manufacturers’ shipments –MD/HD truck and bus sales are expected to fall 7.7% in 2021, primarily due to the semiconductor shortage. A drop in real construction expenditures will further weigh on retail sales.

US production of MD/HD trucks and buses in unit terms is projected to rise 6.3% per year through 2025 from a low base in 2020. Expanding demand in domestic and export markets, particularly Canada and Mexico, will drive gains. However, ongoing competition with producers located in countries with less stringent environmental regulations and lower labor costs, such as China, will restrain advances. In 2021, production of MD/HD trucks and buses is expected to fall 1.8%. Despite increasing economic activity in markets that use MD/HD trucks and buses, shortages of semiconductors will cause declines.

These and other key insights are featured in Medium- & Heavy-Duty Trucks & Buses: United States. This report forecasts to 2021 and 2025 US MD/HD truck and bus retail sales, production, and park in unit terms. Total retail sales, production, and park are each segmented by product in terms of:

  • medium-duty trucks
  • heavy-duty trucks
  • medium- and heavy-duty buses

To illustrate historical trends, total retail sales, production, park, the various segments, and trade are provided in annual series from 2010 to 2020.

MD/HD trucks and buses are defined as vehicles in weight classes 4 through 8. MD/HD trucks include special-purpose vehicles (e.g., fire trucks, tow trucks, and garbage trucks) but do not include off-road agricultural, construction, and mining equipment or recreational vehicles. The terms “demand”, “sales”, and “retail sales” are used interchangeably throughout this report. Re-exports of MD/HD trucks & buses are excluded from demand and trade figures.

More information about the report is available at: