Commercial trucks post strong growth

IT WAS a good year for retail truck sales in 2004, especially among the higher gross vehicle weight ratings that typically see commercial service.

Dealers sold 9,792,638 trucks last year, up 5% from a year ago, according to figures compiled by Ward's Communications. But that figure downplays the strength the commercial truck market showed in 2004. Class 1 and Class 2 (gross vehicle weight ratings of 10,000 pounds or less) were only up 3% and 5%, respectively, for the year. Because these pickups, SUVs, and other light-duty vehicles comprised 94% of retail sales in 2004, shifts in medium and heavy truck sales have a relatively small impact.

Class 1 trucks (gross vehicle weight ratings of 6,000 pounds or less) were edged up 3% for the year.

Class 2 trucks (gross vehicle weight ratings of 6,001-10,000 pounds) had a 5% increase in retail sales for 2004.

Class 3 trucks (gross vehicle weight ratings of 10,001 to 14,000 pounds) were up 18% in 2004.

Class 4 trucks (gross vehicle weight ratings of 14,001-16,000 pounds) had a 19% sales increase.

Class 5 trucks (gross vehicle weight ratings of 16,001-19,500 pounds) topped previous year sales by 25%.

Class 6 trucks (gross vehicle weight ratings of 19,500-26,000 pounds) increased 37%.

Class 7 trucks (gross vehicle weight ratings of 26,001-33,000 pound) had a 13% sales increase.

Class 8 trucks (gross vehicle weight ratings above 33,000 pounds) surged 43%.

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