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January Class 8 sales down 21.9%

Although slightly more Class 8 trucks were sold in January 2003 than the previous year, sales were down 21.9% compared to 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 last October 1 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 than the previous year and the previous month. With 1,759 trucks sold last month, International's sales were 7.2% higher than they were in December and 6.3% better than last January. Volvo's 968 trucks sold in January 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 than in December, but the 756 unit total represented a gain of 35.7% compared to 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 were all down compared to the previous month.

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