After just 10 months, the 1999 medium- and heavy-duty truck industry is ahead of total 1998 sales. Sales for every truckmaker in North America except Nissan Diesel have risen for the year to date.
Class 8 truck sales have already smashed last year's strong totals, with 216,560 reported sold through October 1999. For the full year in 1998, 209,482 trucks were sold.
According to the Polk Co., 1998 was the best year for Class 8 trucks since 1985, when the company starting keeping records. So every Class 8 truck sold between now and the end of the year will boost a 15-year record.
Through October, sales in the medium- and heavy-duty industry rose to 434,721. In comparison, last year's 12-month total was 427,959; through the first 10 months of 1998, sales were 347,239.
Chevrolet, Freightliner and Kenworth all rose more than 34 percent through the first 10 months of the year.
Many analysts predict a slowdown in the next 12 to 18 months. Now, however, Class 5 is the only segment of the medium- and heavy-duty industry not ahead of last year' 10-month pace. Class 6, Class 7 and Class 8 trucks are 15 to 55 percent ahead of 1998's 10-month totals.
Total truck sales for the first 10 months of 1999, including the light-truck market, are at 7.3 million, 11.6 percent ahead of the same period a year ago.