Sales of Class 8 trucks rose 23% in August compared to the same month last year, according to numbers compiled by Ward's Communications. The figures indicate that fleets are pre-buying to avoid the October 1 EPA deadline for diesel engines with reduced emissions.
Ward's reports that 14,254 Class 8 trucks were sold last month. Class 8 sales in August 2001 totaled 11,581.
Peterbilt Motor Co. has offered several incentives for fleets buying trucks equipped with the post-October 1 engines, but still registered strong pre-buy sales. Peterbilt sold 2,165 trucks in August, 80.1% more than it did the same month last year.
Sister company Kenworth Truck Co. had a 61.8% growth in sales, with 1,731 Class 8 trucks sold. Freightliner LLC sales were up 13.7%, while Mack Trucks Inc. said sales rose 4.2%.
But Freightliner's Sterling division reported that its sales dropped 39.2% to 825 Class 8 trucks.
OEMs and analysts believe sales will drop after October 1 because fleets will attempt to delay purchasing trucks with the new engines as long as possible, which could mean the slump in demand will continue through mid-2003.