Although improving slightly from their weak October performance, U.S. medium- and heavy-duty truck makers posted another double-digit decline in sales in November, Ward’sdata shows.

Related document: <em>Ward’s</em> U.S. Truck Sales by Weight Class – November 2008

Big-truck deliveries fell 19.2% in the month, bettering October’s 21.4% dip. But sales continue to run nearly 20% behind 2007 on a year-to-date basis.

Class 8 showed some improvement, with sales up 2.8% from like-2007 to 10,598. Although nearly all manufacturers posted declines, segment volume-leader Daimler AG saw a 24.1% increase, thanks to its Freightliner brand’s 44.2% surge.

International Truck and Engine Corp. was the only other brand or truck maker to gain in Class 8, with sales up 25.6%.

Medium-duty models continued to bear the brunt of the big-truck downturn, with deliveries plunging 34.4% from year-ago to 9,729.

Class 7 sales sunk 44% to 2,846, with Isuzu Motors Ltd. alone in posting an increase, rising 500% on a modest 12 units. PACCAR Inc. and its Kenworth and Peterbilt brands all suffered declines of 50% or more.

Coming off a bad October, when it was the worst performer of the medium-duty groups, sales of Class 6 trucks dipped 23.8%. It was the smallest decline in the medium-duty sector in November.

Again, Isuzu was the sole gainer on relatively small volume, up 154.5% with 84 units sold.

PACCAR’s November entrance into Class 6 added 73 trucks to the segment’s 2,417-unit total for the month.

Class 5 declined 25.1%, as all but a few manufacturers saw sales slide. The Freightliner brand’s 82.4% plunge on just nine units was the largest drop. Chrysler LLC sales rose 67.3%, and the addition of 100 domestically built Sterling models pushed Daimler deliveries up 11.9% from year-ago.

The 39.3% falloff in Class 4 sales resulted from a 67.2% drop for imported models, most notably those of Isuzu and Daimler’s Mitsubishi Fuso, and an 810-unit reduction in domestic sales.

International was the lone Class 4 gainer, with deliveries up 242.9% to 96 units.

November big-truck sales translate into a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 280,000 units, down from 320,000 prior-year.

Heavy-duty truck days’ supply and inventory declined in November from like-2007, to 69 days and 29,311 units, from 84 days and 34,715.

Medium-duty days’ supply held steady from year-ago at 105, but stocks fell to 40,959 units at the end of November vs. 62,255 year-ago.