EPA Probes Pre-buy Tactics

The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether truck engine makers are encouraging customers to pre-buy engines ahead of the October emissions deadline, according to a May Chicago Tribune report.

The 1998 consent decree engine makers signed that created the October deadline also prohibited the companies from encouraging pre-buying.

An EPA official told the Tribune that the EPA started its investigation after receiving reports from “other manufacturers” that some companies were using “extraordinary incentives” to encourage pre-buying.

Caterpillar and Cummins spokesmen interviewed for the story both denied that their companies have encouraged pre-buying.

Most truck makers have reported increased sales in recent months, attributing the upturn to both pre-buying and improvements in the economy. Some have said they will set limits on their pre-October orders to avoid a massive effort to boost capacity that would have to be followed by a sharp reduction in capacity when orders drop in the fall.

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