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Strong year for commercial truck sales

IT WAS a banner year for commercial truck sales, according to figures compiled by Wards Communications.

While overall sales (including pickups, vans, and SUVs) were flat in 2005, the types of trucks that typically are used in commercial applications were up almost 25% last year.

Dealers sold 9,777,264 trucks of all sizes in 2005, virtually unchanged from 2004. But take the trucks with GVW ratings under-10,000 pounds out of the mix, and the numbers change dramatically. Trucks with GVW ratings above 10,000 pounds had a 23% increase when compared with 2004 sales. The market in 2005: 663,431 trucks, compared with 538,932 that were sold in 2004.

Leading the way were Class 3 trucks (GVW ratings of 10,001-14,000 pounds). Dealers sold 166,856 for the year, up 56% from 2004.

Other truck classes performing particularly well were Class 5 (up 28%) and Class 8 (up 24%).

Sales, however, did show some softening in December. Compared with December 2004, sales of trucks rated above 10,000 pounds GVW totaled 63,265, virtually matching the 63,069 sold 12 months earlier. Sales were down slightly for all but Class 5 models (up 10%) and Class 8 trucks (up 7%).

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