New commercial vehicle registrations for Class 3 to Class 8 vehicles increased 16% in 2012 with 543,447 registrations compared with 469,185 in 2011, according to the latest Polk Commercial Vehicle Report issued in February. (Vehicle class designations are based on weight.)

Used registrations were down 18% from the record level recorded during the 2011 calendar year.

Total number of commercial vehicles registered for use on the highways was 11.6 million units at the end of 2012, an increase of 124,000 from the end of the 2011.

“The good news is that new registrations of commercial vehicles continue to strengthen from the low point during the 2009 calendar year, albeit at a slower rate than many expected,” the report stated.

Share of total new registrations by region has been fairly consistent over the past 10 years, the report said.

The South has the highest share of new commercial vehicle registrations followed, typically, by the Central region.

During the 2012 calendar year, the South region accounted for 32% of total new commercial vehicle registrations with a 21% increase in new commercial vehicle registrations. The West region had the largest year-over-year increase in new registrations, up 24%.