According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Medium-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study, customer intent to purchase or lease new medium-duty trucks within the next 12 months has reached its lowest level since 2002, as Class 6 and 7 owners are more likely to say they “probably will not” or “definitely will not” purchase or lease new trucks in the next 12 months as compared to the 2007 results.

“During these challenging economic times, many owners are planning to hold on to their trucks longer,” said Brian Etchells, senior research manager in the commercial vehicle group at J.D. Power. “These findings—coupled with similar levels of purchase intent among Class 8 customers found in the 2008 Heavy-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study—point to more lean times for the U.S. commercial vehicle industry in the short term.”

While the percentage of Class 5 owners who said they definitely will purchase or lease a new truck increased slightly in 2008, the percentage of Class 6 owners who said they do not intend to purchase or lease increased substantially, J.D. Power said.

The J.D. Power study also measured customer satisfaction of conventional cabs and dealer service. Hino ranked highest in customer satisfaction among conventional cab medium-duty trucks, followed by Peterbilt, Chevrolet, Freightliner, GMC Trucks, Sterling and Kenworth. The cabs are measured by vehicle performance, quality, warranty, and cost of ownership, in that order of importance.

Dealer services rankings are based on dealer facility, service quality, service delivery, service initiation, service advisor and price. Chevrolet ranked highest for the third consecutive year, followed by Hino, Sterling and GMC Trucks.

The 2008 Medium-Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study, conducted in July and August, is based on responses from 1,525 primary maintainers of two-year-old conventional cab medium-duty trucks.