U.S. sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in July fell 26.7 percent compared with July 2008 to 19,585, continuing a 21/2-year slide.
Sales of large trucks last rose on a year-over-year basis in January 2007.
July's fall was the smallest in percentage terms this year. Even so, the latest drop left sales for the first seven months down 35.7 percent from the year-earlier period to 127,009.
Sales of medium- and heavy-duty trucks are considered by some to be a leading economic indicator. The continued slide suggests the economy is not rebounding.
Sales fell in all size categories. Class 8 trucks, the largest, dropped 32.9 percent in July to 7,503. Class 7 sales fell 18.1 percent to 3,098, Class 6 sales slid 27.2 percent to 1,855, Class 5 sales tumbled 40.0 percent to 1,806, and Class 4 sales slipped 14.1 percent to 5,323.
Ford Motor Co. retained its No. 1 spot among truckmakers, with its sales dipping 15.5 percent in July to 5,607. Sales at No. 2 International fell 17.3 percent to 4,411. Sales at No. 3 Freightliner stumbled 38.5 percent to 2,990.