Truck and Bus Bodies

SIC 3713

Industry report:

Other related motor vehicle classifications include establishments primarily engaged in the assembly of motor homes on purchased chassis, SIC 3716: Motor Homes; stamped body parts for trucks and buses, SIC 3465: Automotive Stampings; cabs for agricultural tractors, SIC 3523: Farm Machinery and Equipment; cabs for industrial tractors, SIC 3537: Industrial Trucks, Tractors, Trailers, and Stackers; and cabs for off-highway construction tractors, SIC 3531: Construction Machinery and Equipment.

Industry Snapshot

The United States has established guidelines to categorize on-road trucks and buses into one of eight classes according to their gross vehicle weight. As a group, Classes 1 through 3 were referred to as light duty trucks; Classes 4 through 7 were referred to as medium duty trucks; and Class 8 vehicles were referred to as heavy duty trucks. Light duty trucks included personal pickups, minivans, and sport-utility vehicles. Class 1 vehicles were those weighing up to 6,000 pounds; Class 2 vehicles weighed between 6,001 and 10,000 pounds; and Class 3 vehicles weighed between 10,001 and 14,000 pounds.

Medium duty trucks included service or local delivery vehicles, some types of construction vehicles, school buses, and refuse collection vehicles. Class 4 vehicles weighed between 14,001 and 16,000 pounds; Class 5 vehicles weighed between 16,001 and 19,500 pounds; Class 6 vehicles weighed between 19,501 and 26,000 pounds; and Class 7 vehicles weighed between 26,001 and 33,000 pounds. Purchasers of medium duty trucks tend to be small to medium-sized businesses. Heavy duty trucks, listed as Class 8, were the largest type of on-road vehicle sold in the United States. Class 8 vehicles weighed more than 33,000 pounds and were primarily purchased by large industrial manufacturers and interstate fleet operators.

Industry revenue for 2008 was approximately $10 billion, a decrease from $12.1 billion the previous year but better than in 2002 and 2003, when revenue was less than $8.5 billion. Revenues declined in 2009 due to the economic recession. Demand returned slowly to the market during 2010, and the industry remained volatile due to uneven market pressures. There were 1,116 establishments in this industry in 2009. Bus bodies and truck cabs comprise just over 15 percent of this industry, while other truck and vehicle bodies comprise nearly 30 percent. Also included in industry revenue are van bodies, complete buses, and firefighting vehicles, among others.

Organization and Structure

Trucks and buses are made of three primary parts--the chassis, the body, and the engine. The chassis contains the wheels, axles, and fuel tank, as well as all the structural elements necessary to provide support to the body and engine. Manufacturers often use one single chassis style with many different body types.

Truck and bus body makers provide a variety of body styles to meet different hauling requirements. Van bodies are used to transport enclosed cargo, and types of vans vary. For example, refrigerated vans are airtight, while livestock vans feature vents to allow for air flow. Tank bodies are used to transport liquids. Hoppers are a special type of tank used to carry chemicals, salt, wheat, and cement. Flat bed truck bodies are designed to carry large, heavy loads such as machinery, steel beams, and telephone poles.

Other factors distinguish different types of trucks. "Straight" or "rigid" trucks are mounted on a single chassis, with their cab and load areas forming one unit. "Semi" or "tractor trailer" trucks are mounted on two chassis, with their cab and load areas forming two separate units. The units are attached with a device located behind the cab on the tractor called a "fifth wheel."

Straight trucks, semi-trucks, and buses are available in two basic configurations--"conventional" and "cab-over." In conventional designs, the vehicle's engine is located under a traditional hood in front of the driver cab. In cab-over designs, the driver cab is mounted directly over the engine. The cab-over design permits manufacturers to make shorter cabs. In areas where total vehicle length is limited by law, cab-over tractors permit drivers to pull longer cargo trailers.

Another type of truck designation, based on numerical references, is used to describe how many wheels a vehicle has and how many of its wheels are powered by the engine. For example, a 4 x 2 truck is one with four wheels, two of which are drive wheels. A 4 x 4 vehicle has four wheels, all of which are drive wheels. A 6 x 4 truck has six wheels, four of which are drive wheels.

Background and Development

In the United States, many truck engines differ from automobile engines because they run on diesel fuel rather than gasoline. Diesel engines, invented by Rudolf Diesel in 1897, are a type of internal combustion engine powered by the controlled explosion of fuel sprayed into a cylinder under pressure. Diesel engine design is simpler than gasoline engine design and requires no spark plug. Diesel fuel also costs less than gasoline and does not burn as readily if spilled. Diesel engines, however, are more expensive to construct because they require heavier gears to accommodate a more powerful stroke. Because diesel engines are especially suited for heavy duty hauling and long distance running, they gained popularity in cartage vehicles in the United States.

Trucks were developed in response to the need to transport goods. John B. Rae, automotive historian and author of The American Automobile Industry, wrote, "At the beginning of the nineteenth century the cost of moving goods thirty miles inland by road in the United States was as great as the cost of carrying the same goods across the Atlantic." Although steam locomotives helped to provide alternatives to animal power during the mid- and late 1800s, railroads could not offer "door-to-door" service.

As the emerging automotive industry began to supply people with self-propelled vehicles for personal transportation, enterprising innovators began to apply that technology on developing commercial vehicles. The popular Model T chassis, introduced in 1908, was used in a variety of applications. Ford Motor Company offered it as an ice cream truck, an urban delivery truck, and a farm vehicle.

One of the first types of specialty trucks was the twin boom wrecker, designed by Ernest Holmes in 1914. The truck's twin booms featured cables powered by the vehicle's engine. One cable could be deployed to rescue or lift a disabled vehicle, while the other cable could be hooked to a tree to provide additional support. Other truck innovations made during the early twentieth century included four wheel drive, four wheel steering, and an improved clutch system.

With the coming of World War I, unfavorable front line driving conditions compelled truck designers to make other improvements and refinements. One popular truck developed during the war era was the Mack AC. The Mack AC earned itself the nickname "Bulldog" because of its blunt nose and reputation for toughness. To help it perform in mud, the Bulldog's engine was connected to the vehicle's rear wheels with a drive train, and the truck's solid rubber tires were puncture proof. The Mack Truck Company honored the Bulldog by incorporating the image of a bulldog in the organization's official logo.

Between World Wars I and II, truck makers increasingly turned to pneumatic tires. Pneumatic tires were filled with air and provided a smoother ride. Truck designers made larger vehicles capable of carrying heavier loads, so additional wheels were necessary to distribute the weight evenly and avoid damaging tires and road surfaces.

Semi-truck designs were introduced in the 1920s. They featured a tractor front end, which was used to pull a trailer section behind. Semi-trucks were better able to turn tight corners, and they replaced large, rigid, single section trucks. In addition to the improved maneuverability, the construction of the semi allowed more efficient tractor use. Because the trailer could be detached for cargo loading and unloading, the tractor was free for other tasks.

Motor buses were also introduced in the 1920s. In 1923, brothers Frank P. and William B. Fageol organized the Twin Coach Company. Twin Motor Coach buses were the first to offer engines underneath the vehicle.

By 1930, the number of trucks on U.S. roads had grown to 3.6 million, up from 1.1 million in 1920. An estimated one in four was farm-owned, and there were vast improvements in farm-to-market roadways. Although many pioneering truck manufacturers were also involved in making automobiles, the different economies of scale involved in producing the two types of vehicles resulted in a different mix of major manufacturers. Passenger car makers relied on capital-intensive mass production technology. This led to industry consolidation and the emergence of the Big Three automobile companies--Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. Truck makers, however, built a variety of vehicles, each customized to perform a special task. As a result, a large number of smaller companies were able to compete. During the 1930s the nation's principle truck manufacturers were the White Motor Company, Mack International, Autocar Company, and International Harvester.

During World War II, auto makers and truck makers focused their energies on providing military vehicles. Special task trucks, missile carriers, troop transports, and cargo haulers were all necessary to the war effort. Manufacturers, working under government contract, intensified research and development projects aimed at building better, more reliable trucks. Following the war, the knowledge gained was transferred to civilian undertakings, and the trucking industry experienced tremendous expansion in the 1950s.

Improvements in the nation's highway system also played a role. In 1956, Congress passed the Interstate Highway Act, which authorized the construction of 41,000 miles of interstate highways, 90 percent of which could be funded with money from the Highway Trust Fund. As the nation's infrastructure improved, long distance trucking became more feasible. Prior to the 1950s, most of the nation's long distance freight shipments were made by rail, and trucks were used primarily to provide local delivery to and from rail stations. Unloading and reloading cargo for rail to truck transfers increased the cost of moving goods and provided an economic incentive for shippers to switch to long distance, over-the-road transport. The percentage of freight deliveries made by truck increased from about 17 percent of all deliveries in 1950 to almost 25 percent by the end of the decade.

Another national phenomenon, suburban growth, increased the importance of trucks to life in the United States. Decentralized, suburban lifestyles required the kind of flexible freight transport that trucks provided. Trucks made suburban development possible, and suburban development increased the demand for trucks. Trucks served the construction industry as it built suburbs, and they carried household goods as families moved into the suburbs. Trucks also served the businesses that moved from the central city to outlying areas.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the increased presence of large trucks on U.S. roads led to increased concern about their safety. Semi-trucks were notorious for their tendency to jackknife under adverse braking conditions. When the trailer's wheels locked during breaking, it pushed the trailer forward, causing the vehicle's two parts to bend into a jackknife position and skid. Anti-lock brake systems were explored to help prevent jackknifing. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 121, enacted in 1975, set performance standards for vehicles with air brakes and mandated the use of anti-lock brake systems in its stipulation of minimum stopping distances. Unfortunately, available technology was not able to meet the standard.

Anti-lock brakes worked by modulating the amount of air applied to the brakes. When a sensor indicated that a wheel was in danger of locking, it applied air pressure in a pulsing manner. The pulsing pressure enabled the wheel to keep rolling and prevented it from skidding. During the 1970s, however, available computer technology could not interpret the sensor input quickly. The resulting time lag caused brake failure. In April 1978, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the "no-lock" and minimum stopping distance requirements.

Renewed efforts to make trucks safer occurred in the 1980s. A study done by AAA of Michigan found that in car-truck accidents, motorists sustained a higher percentage of fatalities because trucks were becoming longer, wider, and heavier, while cars were getting smaller and lighter. Researchers investigated ways to prevent small vehicles from underriding trucks during crashes. Congress mandated a study of truck brake systems, and legislators enacted regulations establishing national standards for licensing truck drivers and sharing driver information among the 50 states.

According to figures reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the truck and bus bodies industry shipped products valued at $4.6 billion in 1987. Of this total, $4.2 billion represented products considered primary to the industry. Secondary products were valued at $184.7 million, and $222.9 million represented miscellaneous transactions. These figures yielded a specialization ratio of 96 percent, an increase from the 93 percent reported in 1982.

Medium and heavy duty truck makers marked their most productive year in 1988 when the industry sold 334,000 units. Sales tumbled in subsequent years, however. In 1991, heavy duty truck makers recorded their worst year since 1983. An improving national economy helped sales begin to rebound in 1992, and combined heavy duty and medium duty truck sales rose 11 percent over 1991, reaching 246,000 units.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, truck manufacturers suffered the effects of a nationwide economic slowdown. In 1992, however, sales and orders began to improve. According to the 1993 Ward's Automotive Yearbook, overall truck sales in 1992 were 12.8 percent higher than in 1991. Medium duty trucks in Classes 4 through 7 posted a 6.5 percent gain, and heavy duty Class 8 truck sales increased 20.6 percent.

The recovery extended into 1993. In January 1993, Class 8 sales were 44.7 percent higher than those for January 1992. Production continued to be high during the early months of the year, and industry watchers estimated that Class 8 factory sales would reach 160,000 by the end of the year. Although increases in medium duty truck sales lagged behind heavy duty sales in the early months of 1993, the medium duty segment began to catch up during the middle of the year.

The rebound of the truck market in the mid-1990s was attributed to a better economic climate and the effect of an aging national truck fleet. Another factor bolstering expectations among truck makers was a government announcement of plans to spend $15 billion to upgrade the nation's infrastructure. Planners predicted an increased demand for vehicles such as dumpers, haulers, and mixers needed to construct and repair road surfaces.

The key factor driving the industry upswing was the growing U.S. economy, which directly affected the need for transportation equipment to move parts and finished products. Other factors driving demand included the age of the truck fleet, which was about eight years old in 1993, relatively low interest rates, and competition for trucking firms among customers. Another reason for the high demand was the federal government's deregulation of the trucking industry during the 1980s, which heightened competition, forced weaker carriers out of business, and caused most of the remaining carriers to economize and delay truck purchases.

Within the motor coach segment of the industry, manufacturers placed an increasing emphasis on luxury. Motor coaches offered amenities such as VCRs, kitchens, and larger bathroom facilities. Buses also were available in a wide variety of vehicle sizes, ranging from small 20-seat mini buses to vehicles capable of seating 76 passengers.

One segment of the industry unique to Canada and the United States was the manufacture of school buses for student transport. However, because school bus models were simpler and less expensive than other types of buses, they were a common export item. In developing countries such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela, and Bolivia, they were used to provide community transportation.

Safety issues continued to be a primary concern within the industry. A new anti-lock brake system based on digital computer technology was designed in the 1990s. Advanced computer capabilities helped anti-lock brakes overcome some of the problems associated with earlier systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began studying the new anti-lock brake systems.

Underride regulations also were forthcoming. In an effort to reduce traffic fatalities resulting from cars striking the rear ends of trucks and truck trailers, NHTSA considered mandating design modifications, such as a change in bumper heights. Some researchers argued that if collisions occurred at the car's frame elevation, occupants would be better protected by the controlled crush design features of the automobile.

Truck makers prepared to meet new, more stringent emission standards to decrease damage to the environment. Many medium and heavy duty trucks burned diesel fuel. Diesel exhaust contained pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter visible as black smoke. Between 1988 and 1991, emissions of nitrogen oxides were cut more than 50 percent. New emission standards were scheduled to begin in 1994 and 1998. The 1994 standards required that levels of particulates be cut by more than 50 percent, and the 1998 standards required an additional 25 percent cut in emissions of nitrogen oxide.

Analysts predicted that the Class 8 truck demand would be robust through 1997. They were proved to be wrong when 1996 truck sales slumped 25 percent from 1995. The business was in a serious recession, and one of the key reasons was that freight sales were off. Consequently, there was no rush to buy additional or even replacement trucks. The other reason was that the average age of trucks--which was eight years--had been reduced to five because of the increased buying in the past few years, which meant that the truck fleet was fairly modern.

Ford, Freightliner, and Navistar were the leading medium and heavy duty truck manufacturers in the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Ford, having abandoned Class 6 through 8 trucks, sold that division to Freightliner in 1997. Freightliner named the acquisition Sterling Truck Corporation and began production in 1999. During the early 2000s, the entire trucking industry was adversely affected by the recession and thousands of motor carrier companies failed between 2000 and 2003. Many of those that remained held off replacing fleets until the growth cycle returned.

In 2002, Class 8 truck sales of 146,031 units reflected a year-on-year increase of 4.6 percent, the first growth in the market in two years. Hit hard by the economic slowdown, sales of Class 8 trucks fell 19 percent and 34 percent in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Class 6 posted an increase during 2002, with sales of 45,095, up more than 6 percent from 2001. Medium duty trucks, particularly Class 4 and Class 7, did not fare as well, with medium and heavy duty truck sales for 2002 down 6.7 percent from 2001, totaling 326,746 units.

During 2002, the industry was led by DaimlerChrysler's Freightliner, which sold 45,933 Class 8 trucks, up 3.6 percent from 2001. International produced less than half of Freightliner's numbers, putting 23,992 Class 8 trucks on the market, a 9.6 percent increase over 2001. Mack followed International closely with 19,587 units, down 3.8 percent from the previous year.

By 2004, the economy had rebounded, and orders for commercial vehicles were up significantly as companies began replacing their aging fleets. After dropping 2.8 percent during 2003, sales of Class 8 trucks grew 43.1 percent to 203,197 units during 2004. Freightliner led the Class 8 category with 59,573 trucks, followed by International, which sold 38,242 trucks. Peterbilt sold 26,145; Kenworth, 23,294; and Mack Trucks, 20,670. All truck manufacturers posted year-on-year increases in Class 8 revenues.

Although Class 8 recorded the largest gain during 2004, increases were posted across all categories. Classes 1 through 3 showed the smallest growth, up 4 percent on the year to 9.22 million trucks. Class 4 was up 17.6 percent to 53,421 units; Class 5 was up 25.1 percent to 36,259 units; Class 6 was up 36.8 percent to 69,847 units; and Class 7 was up 12.7 percent to 72,263 units.

The growth trend continued into 2005. Sales of medium and heavy duty trucks grew 25 percent during the first two months of 2005. Class 8 trucks led the growth with a 52 percent year-to-date increase. Although slower sales of the Classes 1 through 3 dampened overall industry numbers, the industry continued to experience positive growth during the remainder of 2005 and through 2006.

Truck manufacturers experienced high demand in the mid-2000s, but also had to contend with several challenges that faced the trucking industry. High fuel prices were a concern, but because much of the added cost was passed on in the form of fuel surcharges, the increase in operational costs did not deter trucking companies from upgrading their fleets. In addition, material costs increased. The price of steel had nearly doubled, and aluminum prices rose nearly 10 percent. Finally, because of the ongoing shortage of drivers, many trucking companies ordered replacement trucks but did not expand fleet size.

Because truck manufacturing is a very cyclical business with trucks being replaced approximately every 7 years, manufacturers were concerned that once demand was met, the industry would again slump. This was compounded by the global economic recession of 2008 which significantly impacted the industry, though not to the extent of its impact on the auto industry.

Current Conditions

The truck manufacturing industry experienced a large dip in demand during 2009 as a result of the economic recession. With unemployment high and consumer confidence low, the overall U.S. economy shrank significantly. Trucking companies, working within the more difficult conditions, looked to rein in costs. One way they limited expenses was to put off equipment upgrades.

North American (i.e., including Mexico) Class 8 truck sales in 2009 totaled 119,000 trucks, down from 179,000 in 2008--the lowest amount since 1991. Unit sales of large and medium trucks (Classes 4 to 8) combined totaled 227,726 in 2009, down 30 percent from 2008 and less than half the 581,194 units sold in 2006. As a result, roughly 1,700 fleets went out of business due to lack of business, lack of credit, or other recession-related reasons.

The state of the industry is reflected in the downward trend in revenues of the industry 's top performers during 2009. For example, Daimler Trucks, which reported earnings before tax and interest (EBIT) of just under $2.9 billion and $2.2 billion in 2007 and 2008, respectively, posted an EBIT loss of roughly $1.4 billion in 2009. Revenues fell by 36 percent, and unit sales fell by 45 percent, from 472,074 in 2008 to 259,328 in 2009. To adjust to drop in demand, parent company Daimler reduced its investment in its facilities by nearly a third and cut its workforce by 6 percent.

In 2009 PACCAR, Inc., parent to Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, managed to continue its 71-year tradition of posting a profit, also by keeping costs lows. Even so, the profit amount was merely one-tenth of the previous year, dropping from a net income of $1 billion in 2008 to $111.9 million in 2009. Revenues were nearly halved, going from $13.7 billion in 2008 to $7.1 billion in 2009.

With the economy in slow recovery in 2010, the industry was expected to edge its own way back to recovery through the early 2010s. According to a 2010 survey conducted by CK Commercial Vehicle Research, reported by Fleet Owner, more fleet owners reported that they planned to replace fleets in 2011 than in 2010. Specifically, the study showed a 47 percent increase in the number of owners who planned to buy (primarily Class 8) trucks in 2011. Medium to large truck sales were up by 10 percent through August 2010 compared to the previous year.

Industry Leaders

In 2008, the world's top manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks changed its corporate name from Freightliner LLC to Daimler Trucks North America LLC. The parent company, Daimler, which was headquartered in Portland, Oregon, offered its trucks under the names of Detroit Diesel, Freightliner Trucks, Freightliner Custom Chassis, Mercedes-Benz engines and transmissions, Sterling Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, and Western Star Trucks. The truck division's sales totaled nearly $2.15 billion with approximately 20,000 employees in 2008. Revenues dipped to $1.4 billion in 2009.

Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks were divisions of PACCAR Inc., headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. In 2008, the company reported consolidated net sales and financial service revenue of just under $15 billion with 18,700 employees, an decrease from $16.5 billion in 2006, but an increase from $14.06 billion in 2005. Revenues were $7.1 billion in 2009.

Navistar, based in Chicago, is the nation's third-leading producer of heavy-hauling trucks. Navistar's roots can be traced to the first decade of the twentieth century. The company was built on a foundation laid by International Harvester. International Harvester was founded in 1907 and played a leading role in the development of the industry through the early decades of the 1900s.

The company's products encompass heavy trucks, medium trucks, severe service trucks, school buses, engine and foundry, parts, and Navistar Financial Corporation. The company's diesel powered products are marketed under the "International" brand. The company reported worldwide truck and bus sales of $10.3 billion in 2009 and employed 17,900 workers.

Navistar was the nation's leading supplier of school bus chassis, a position it had held for more than two decades. Navistar sold bus chassis to body manufacturers that completed the buses and delivered them to end consumers. In addition, the company manufactured chassis for small capacity buses such as those operated to provide service to disabled students. American Transportation Corporation, maker of Ward brand school bus bodies, was partly owned by Navistar.

Perhaps one of the best known names within the truck-making industry was Mack Trucks Inc. In the late 2000s Mack was the leading U.S. manufacturer of heavy duty trucks such as dump trucks, cement mixers, refuse trucks, construction duty, and other heavy hauling models. Mack also produces a line of medium duty trucks, sleeper cabs, and axles and axle carriers. In 2009, Mack had a 7.4 percent share of the heavy truck market in North America. Mack delivered 11,100 heavy trucks in 2009, down from 16,600 in 2008.

In the worldwide market, Mack's heavy duty and medium duty diesel products are sold in over 45 countries with more than 860 sales, parts, and service centers. Although Mack Trucks has a long history of truck making in the United States and the company's global headquarters is in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the company was not U.S.-owned. In 1979, Renault Vehicules Industriels SA began purchasing an interest in Mack, and by 1990, the French firm had acquired complete ownership. In 2000, Renault sold Mack to Sweden's AB Volvo for a 15 percent share in the company.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the industry employed 45,732 in 2008. Of that total, about 34,150 workers held production-related jobs.

America and the World

The industry exported $239 million worth of merchandise to 94 countries in 2008 while importing $800 million. The biggest U.S. trading partner in heavy and medium duty trucks continued to be Canada. Some analysts expected Mexico to be the fastest growing market for U.S. medium and heavy duty trucks. Other growing overseas markets included South and Central America, eastern Europe, and nations formed following the breakup of the former Soviet Union.

U.S. exports to Mexico were expected to grow steadily at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allowed Mexico to adopt U.S. safety standards for trucking and eliminated all restrictions on U.S. exports of medium and heavy duty trucks, buses, and special purpose motor vehicles to Mexico by January 1, 1999, among other provisions.

European and North American manufacturers dominate the worldwide truck manufacturing market. However, four of the largest manufacturers are based in Asia and account for more than 30 percent of global production. Although the United States continued to be the largest market for commercial vehicles in the mid-2000s, followed by Europe, strong growth in the manufacturing sector in China suggested that China's consumption demands would grow over the coming years.

Research and Technology

During the late 2000s, truck and bus makers faced many challenges to improve their environmental and safety records. Research to improve the industry's environmental impact focused on reducing vehicle emissions, improving fuel economy, and developing alternative fuels.

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 imposed increasing reductions in vehicle emissions, creating a need for expanded research in clean-burning diesel technology. New emissions requirements went into effect in 2002. The next scheduled emissions upgrade went into effect in 2007. By 2005, truck manufacturers had rolled out the first models that were in compliance with the 2007 standards for their customers to test.

Efforts were underway to make vehicles with increased fuel economy. Designers worked to make lighter trucks with smaller dimensions, better aerodynamic styling, and improved engine performance. In a similar vein, some groups advocated the development of alternate fuels. One of the most promising alternate fuels is natural gas. Many environmental groups favored natural gas over gasoline and diesel fuels because it emitted 90 percent less carbon monoxide and 50 percent less hydrocarbons.

In November 2009, Volvo, in both its Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks lines, became the first truck manufacturer to receive approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 's 2010 emission standards, the strictest in the world. The engines come closest to zero emissions. In addition, Volvo had begun to produce hybrid buses in Europe, which reduced fuel consumption by 30 percent.

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