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Class 8 sales slide slows

Class 8 sales were down 7.5% in December compared to the previous month, but were down just 5.4% compared to December 2001 figures, according to information compiled by Ward's Communications. Despite the drop in sales, the slide that resulted because of the arrival of '02-compliant engines appears to be lessening. Class 8 sales were down 22.3% in November 2002 compared to October 2002. According to Ward's, 10,781 Class 8s were sold in December 2002, compared to 11,659 the previous month and 11,398 the previous year. Freightliner, Sterling Trucks, Peterbilt and Western Star Trucks had better sales in December 2002 than the previous year, which shows that fleets may be willing to purchase trucks with the new engines.Peterbilt's sales were up 29%, while Sterling was up 28.5% and Freightliner 27%. Western Star, which recently shifted production to Portland, OR, sold 113 trucks in December, compared to 55 the previous year. Western Star sold 66 trucks in November 2002. Mack Trucks (4.8%) and Kenworth (0.6%) also had higher sales in December 2002 than in the previous month.

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