They are sending out for more pages to
insert in the US light truck record book, because there soon won’t be room to chart
the astounding progress that the sector has made in recent years. Not content with setting
a new all-time record of 7.41 million in 1998, the sector has continued its trail blazing
ways with two more records in the opening months of the current year. In the WAIT Digest
in January we recorded that 1999 could see the bar lifted to the 7.6 million mark, but for
that to happen the current rate of growth will actually have to slow.
Sales in February were a smart 16.6% above
last year’s result at a new all-time best for the month of 616,674 from 528,731. That
has taken sales for the opening two months to 1,161,169, a rise of 13.8% over the
1,020,363 of last year. Needless to say, January was also a record month.
At this same point in 1998, the GM Group
had deposed the Ford Group from the top spot, but that was a short-lived affair and so the
table is misleading if it looks the other way round so far in 1999. Ford has finished the
year leading the sector for the past four years running, and so far in 1999 it would
appear that they are under less threat than of late and a fifth year on top seems very