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Sterling Boosts Dealer Network

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Sterling enjoyed considerable market growth last year, said company officials at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sterling enjoyed considerable market growth last year, said company officials at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

And the company is hoping changes to its A-Line and Acterra trucks as well as the expansion of its dealer network will help continue to expand its popularity with truck buyers, officials said.

The six-year-old truck maker increased sales in Class 6/7 by 32 per cent as well as Class 8 sales in 2003, officials announced. In the U.S., Sterling’s market share of the Class 6/7 market increased from 3.2 per cent in 2002 to 4.1 per cent in 2003 and its market share of the Class 8 market rose from six per cent to 6.7 per cent. In Canada the gains were from six per cent to 6.7 per cent in the Class 6/7 market while its Class 8 market share rose from 6.3 per cent to 7.4 per cent.

Sterling’s St. Thomas, Ont. Manufacturing plant will soon be pumping out more than 100 trucks a day, said John Merrifield, senior vice-president of sales and marketing, to meet what he expects to be a very strong demand for new trucks from 2004 to 2006.

“Ultimately we want 10 per cent market share in Canada and the U.S.,” said Merrifield.

To get there the truck maker has made significant additions to its dealer network. Sterling added 116 new locations to its dealer network in the U.S. and Canada since 2001 and showed a 17 per increase in locations in 2003 alone, according to officials.

Sterling is also hoping the latest enhancements to its truck lineup will entice truck buyers. The enhancements to the medium-duty Acterra line of trucks include two new two-pedal automated shift transmissions and factory-installed all-wheel drive.

The two-pedal Mercedes-Benz Automated Gear Shift (AGS) transmission is based on the Mercedes-Benz manual six-speed. The trannie requires no manual shifting or clutching.

Also available on the Acterra is Eaton Fuller’s UltraShift six-speed transmission, which Sterling officials claim combines the durability of a manual transmission with automated shifting. Synthetic lube, which is standard with the Eaton UltraShift, provides extended oil change intervals.

The factory-installed, four-wheel automatic traction control uses an exclusive Automatic Lock Control Transfer Case coupled with the standard front and rear wheel traction control systems. Acterras equipped with all-wheel drive are available with front axle ratings of 12,000, 14,000 and 16,000 lbs.

Meanwhile changes to the A-Line work trucks include new aerodynamic mirrors, a Bostrom seat and a Visteon scroll compressor.

The mirrors have smaller heads for improved side and forward visibility and aluminum extrusion brackets to reduce weight. The Bostrom “Freedom” seat comes standard with a longer headrest, wider suspension, increased lumbar support, and newly designed foam density and contours.

The scroll-type processor, used for many years in luxury and high-end automotive applications, has been upgraded for heavy-duty trucking use.

And the rugged compressor uses fewer moving parts and has virtually no wear points compared to typical piston type compressors, said officials. For more information, visit

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