On the heels of record first quarter profits and revenues, Seattle-based truck and component manufacturer Paccar has stated worldwide growth in commercial truck sales should stay strong for the rest of 2006.

“The global commercial vehicle industry … continues to benefit from strong demand,” said Jim Cardillo, senior vp. “Freight activity is robust and trucking company profits are at record levels. U.S. and Canadian Class 8 industry truck retail sales are projected to be 290,000 -310,000 units during 2006, an increase of approximately 5% over 2005, with Class 6-7 trucks sales in the U.S. and Canada expected to increase slightly to 100,000-110,000 units for the year.”

Burgeoning commercial truck sales both domestically and abroad helped boost Paccar’s profits and revenues to new records in the first quarter this year, added Mark Pigott, chairman & CEO. Paccar’s earnings increased 25% to $342 million on $3.85 billion in sales in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2005.

Those profits are also going to help fuel further capital investments, added Tom Plimpton, the firm’s president. “In order to further enhance its industry leadership, Paccar is going to increase capital and expense investment by constructing new facilities, accelerating product development, and growing financial services and technology platforms,” he said.

Examples include construction of a new engine test center in Europe, a 20% increase in Kenworth’s manufacturing capacity, new parts distribution centers, new aerodynamic and hybrid vehicles, expansion of its Paccar Leasing network, plus new finance and manufacturing information systems.