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Inside Mack’s plan to make waves in the on-highway market

When you think of Mack Trucks, you probably think of construction or vocational trucks first and foremost. And while that’s likely fine with Mack (those applications are still the brand’s bread and butter) the OEM is hoping people will add a third segment to that list: on-highway.

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When you think of Mack Trucks, you probably think of construction or vocational trucks first and foremost. And while that’s likely fine with Mack—those applications are still the brand’s bread and butter—the OEM is hoping people will add a third segment to that list: on-highway.

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Its plan to make this happen revolves around the Mack Anthem, which was launched in late 2017 as Mack’s primary option for the on-highway market, replacing the Pinnacle Axle Back model. 

“Our weakest segment, historically, has been our long-haul segment,” admits Jonathan Randall, Mack’s senior vice president of sales. “The great news is that Anthem is opening the eyes of a lot of fleets to give us the opportunity to talk where we weren’t in consideration before. Anthem is getting us into more and more fleets.”

The OEM currently sits at about 2% market share in the on-highway segment, a number that increased in 2018 and that they are hoping and expecting to see continue to improve.

“It’s no secret that we are trying to improve our performance and our sales in long-haul,” says Roy Horton, Mack’s director of product strategy. “It’s not a straightforward, easy task to communicate the message that Mack is right for the highway. We’re looking to push as many events to get people engaged with the product. That has been one of the most successful ways to improve sales, is to get customers engaged with the product. That’s helping to turn heads.”

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Horton names four areas of strength for the Anthem: fuel efficiency; driver recruitment and retention; dealer strength; and uptime support.

“One percent improvement in fuel economy for one truck can save as much as $500 for that truck per year,” he notes. “With the launch of Anthem, we improved our fuel economy, by improving aerodynamics, by 3%. Since then, we’re added other packages—including the MP8 HE engine—which in total can add up to 9.5%.”

Additionally, Horton highlighted the Anthem’s driver environment as a strength, as well as Anthem owners’ access to Mack’s network of 345 dealers and its uptime offerings, including GuardDog Connect telematics, Over-the-Air engine updates, and 24/7 service from Mack’s Uptime Center. All of this, he says, has led to Mack selling more sleepers than ever since Anthem came out—surpassing Mack’s own goals, even considering the current, booming truck market.

“Our goals are modest, but we know that we have to have a strong long-haul business,” Randall says. “We expect to see strong growth, and the company is investing in GHG technology, so we need to have a good long-haul segment. As more of these trucks come out, we’ll continue to grow that market share.”

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