Kenworth Truck Co. is looking to boost sales of its Class 6 and 7 model T-300 trucks because it believes medium-duty demand will grow in 2002.
"We're bullish on the Class 6 and 7 market," said Mike Parrish, Kenworth's medium-duty product marketing manager. "Customers are looking for more value in their medium duty trucks sales are not based just on purchase price any more. That means life-cycle costing is more important to them."
However, truck manufacturers overall continued to suffer from one of the worst truck sales slumps in history, with no relief in sight at least for this year.
According to Ward's Communications, Class 8 truck sales dropped 34% to 139,614 units in 2001, down from 211,553 units in 2000. Class 7 sales dropped 25.3% to 91,564 units in 2001, down from 122,614. Class 6 sales declined 17.1% to 42,430 units in 2001, down from 51,169. Only Class 4 truck sales showed an improvement, rising 9.7% to 52,037 units, up from 47,417.
Ward's said Kenworth's Class 7 sales slipped only slightly in 2001, falling 0.3% to 1,847 units. Changing vehicle trends may also help reverse that sales slide as well, added Parrish.
"For example, we're finding construction companies wanting to move down to a Class 7 vehicle for work in residential areas," he said. "We're also seeing many delivery companies moving to Class 6 and 7 trucks."