Deliveries of heavy- and medium-duty trucks in the U.S. declined 4.8% on a daily sales rate basis in August to 29,361 units vs. 29,733 in like-2001, according to Ward's data.

However, heavy-duty (Class 8) sales posted the sector's biggest increase since January 1994 with deliveries up 18.7% as fleets rush to buy rigs before new emission regulations kick in that will raise prices and decrease performance.

Medium-duty (Class 4-7) sales dipped 19.7%; Class 7 deliveries plummeted 35.8%. Class 6 sales were up 5.4% from like-2001, the only medium-duty segment to post an increase. Class 5 deliveries declined 7.4% in August while Class 4 sales fell 21.6%.

January-August Class 4-8 sales total 215,862, trailing year-ago's 247,025 by 12.6%.

August Class 8 inventories total 25,241 units (50 days' supply), vs. year-ago's 26,584 (62 days'). Medium-duty stocks are at 47,554 units (88 days') compared to like-2000's 51,990 units (77 days').

Wards' U.S. New Truck Sales by Weight Class — August 2002
JULY JANUARY-JULY
Month Units Units
2002 2001 DSR % Chg 2002 2001 Vol. %Chg
Class 1 602,388 517,776 12.2% 4,153,689 4,034,494 3.0
Class 2 266,062 196,857 30.3 1,739,829 1,588,414 9.5
Class 3 7,559 7,265 0.3 52,534 61,171 -14.1
Class 4 3,015 3,710 -21.6 26,355 37,809 -30.3
Class 5 1,892 1,971 -7.4 16,047 16,905 -5.1
Class 6 4,850 4,437 5.4 28,204 29,550 -4.6
Class 7 5,350 8,033 -35.8 50,177 65,913 -23.9
Class 8 14,254 11,582 18.7 95,079 96,848 -1.8
Total Trucks 905,370 751,631 16.2 6,161,914 5,931,104 3.9
Source: Ward's AutoInfoBank