Navistar projecting softer sales

Though the company says it’s still on target to be profitable at the end of its fiscal year in October, truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp. is projecting a falloff in both truck and engine sales for the remainder of fiscal 2008

Though the company says it’s still on target to be profitable at the end of its fiscal year in October, truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp. is projecting a falloff in both truck and engine sales for the remainder of fiscal 2008.

“The prolonged softness in the overall economy, particularly in the construction and housing segments, caused many commercial truck owners to defer purchase or lease of new vehicles,” said Daniel Ustian, Navistar’s chairman, president & CEO. “High diesel fuel prices have also impacted industry sales. While there has been a near collapse in the pickup truck market and continued softness in the overall commercial truck market, our company has been better able to withstand the softness because of our expansion into markets not served by the company as recently as 2004.”

Ustian noted that Navistar expects company sales and revenues in fiscal 2008 to exceed $15 billion, with net income ranging between $312 million and $418 million. He added, however, that the company is reducing its industry forecast for Class 6 to 8 truck and school bus retail sales volume in the U.S. and Canada down to between 235,000 and 245,000 total units from a previous forecast of approximately 258,000 units. In fiscal 2007, industry volume totaled 319,000 units, he said.

Despite the lower industry sales forecast for fiscal 2008, though, Ustian said that Navistar still expects to sell between 70,000 and 80,000 Class 6-8 commercial trucks and school buses, compared with 75,000 commercial trucks and school buses in fiscal 2007.

Navistar diesel engine sales, including shipments to other original equipment manufacturers, are also expected to decline to between 340,000 and 350,000 engines in fiscal 2008, down from 405,000 engines in fiscal 2007 and 520,000 engines in fiscal 2006.

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