After a torrid 1999, sales of Class 8 trucks were expected to let up this year. So far, though, they haven't.
U.S. Class 8 sales are keeping pace with last year's numbers. Class 8 deliveries gained a scant 0.8 percent in February to 18,524. Combined with January's gain, Class 8 sales are up 1.3 percent this year.
Several Class 8 makers have seen the market blow hot and cold in the first two months. Kenworth, Mack and Peterbilt all posted gains in January. Each of them dropped in February, though. After two months, Kenworth and Peterbilt are behind last year's sales pace.
Navistar, the No. 2 Class 8 maker, had slight gains each month.
Volvo, meanwhile, had a dreadful January - down 66.3 percent. But it rebounded with a 26.1 percent gain in February.
Market leader Freightliner has been the only company to outperform its 1999 mark by a significant margin. Freightliner's Class 8 sales rose 2.2 percent in February, on top of a healthy January gain. Freightliner's Sterling Truck division saw Class 8 sales rise 6.9 percent in February, adding to a strong January gain.