Navistar Reports Strength in Overseas Markets

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Truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp. said Tuesday it saw signs of strength in non-traditional and overseas vehicle markets, despite a 6% downturn in Class 6-8 North American truck and bus shipments in its fiscal first quarter.Worldwide shipments of school buses, Class 6-8 heavy trucks and non-traditional vehicles for the quarter ended Jan. 31, totaled 27,500 units, down 0.4% from 27,600 a year earlier.The decline in U.S. and Canadian sales was brought about by a “mid-cycle correction coupled with the end of the 2006 pre-buy,” the company said in a statement.Non-traditional shipments—which include military vehicles sold overseas and other export sales — rose 24% to 7,500 units, from 6,000 units in the previous first quarter.Navistar did not change its previous forecast of a 24% to 28% downturn in heavy-truck and school bus shipments in the United States and Canada for its fiscal year ending in October.“We believe the growth in other areas and our focus on margin improvement will enable us to deliver a solid 2007,” Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ustian said in a statement.The company said it does not plan to comment on its 2007 results until its financial statements are completed.Navistar, the parent company of International Truck and Engine Corp., has delayed filing its financial report for its last fiscal year because of accounting problems.(Click here for previous coverage.)