Helped by a strong December, heavy-truck makers barreled through 1997's U.S. sales tally.
In December, truckmakers showed solid sales gains in Class 7-8 trucks.
For the full year, Class 7 sales amounted to 117,128, up 3 percent; Class 8 truck sales totaled 209,482, up 17.3 percent.
That was the best year for U.S. Class 8 sales in at least three decades.
Among the largest producers, big percentage gainers last year in the Class 8 segment were Volvo, up 39 percent; Freightliner, up 28 percent; and Kenworth, up 24 percent.
In December, U.S. sales of medium and heavy trucks reached 39,889, up 13.4 percent.
In 1998, medium and heavy truck sales climbed 13.8 percent to 427,959.
December sales in all truck segments advanced 10.4 percent to 695,877.
In 1998, total truck sales, from Class 1 through Class 8, rose 8.2 percent to 7.8 million.