Class 8 sales skid 21.9% in January 2003

Although slightly more Class 8 trucks were sold in January 2003 than the previous year, sales slumped 21.9% compared with the previous month, according to numbers compiled by Ward's Communications.

Analysts had predicted that Class 8 sales would drop after cleaner-burning heavy-duty diesel engines were mandated in October 2002 by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, most OEMs had seen strong sales numbers through the end of 2002.

Sales of International and Volvo Class 8s were higher in January 2003 than the previous year and the previous month.

With 1,759 trucks sold in January 2003, International's sales were 7.2% higher than in December 2002 and 6.3% better than January 2002.

Volvo's 968 trucks sold in January 2003 were 64.6% higher than the previous month and 89.4% better than the previous year's mark.

Sterling sold 7.9% fewer trucks in January 2003 than in December 2002, but the 756 unit total represented a gain of 35.7% compared with the previous January.

Sales of Freightliner (-33.2%), Mack (-57%), Kenworth (-28.4%), Peterbilt (-33.7%), and Western Star (-30.1%) Class 8s in January 2003 all were down compared with December 2002.

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