"We opened a new flagship facility in Oklahoma City, replacing our existing Peterbilt and Hino dealership location there and added Isuzu and Ford commercial truck franchises to the newly opened location. We also added a Ford and Isuzu commercial truck dealership in Dallas, Texas and Isuzu commercial truck franchises to our Sealy, Texas and Orlando, Florida dealerships. Investment in our existing Rush Truck Centers network and the addition of medium-duty franchises allows us to better serve customers in our existing markets with more service capabilities and a broader medium-duty vehicle offering," said Rusty Rush.
"We also completed the sale of our John Deere franchise in Texas, but will seek opportunities to re-enter the construction equipment dealership business with a brand leader that we can support with a contiguous network, similar to our truck centers business model," Rusty Rush explained.
"The Company ended the year with $169 million in cash and cash equivalents, an increase of $20 million compared to year end 2009. This positive cash flow is net of $39 million in cash paid for business acquisitions. Given the economic uncertainty that plagued consumer confidence throughout the year and hesitation by fleet customers to invest in major truck purchases, I am very pleased with our financial performance this year and our strong financial position headed into the industry upturn," added Rusty Rush.
"We are encouraged by the continuing improvement in Class 8 and medium-duty truck orders during the past several months. We believe this increase in new truck orders reflects the replacement of existing aged trucks that are currently in service and does not reflect fleet expansion or growth. While U.S. Class 8 order intake has reached over 25,000 units for three consecutive months, retail sales are not expected to substantially increase until later in 2011, causing the new truck sales market to remain competitive and challenging throughout the first half of the year. Industry experts forecast 2011 U.S. Class 8 truck sales to reach 179,000 units, up from 110,109 units sold in 2010. Current industry projections are for U.S. Class 4-7 retail sales in 2011 to be 128,300 units, up from 117,572 units in 2010. If economic conditions continue to improve, we expect that activity will increase in automotive and capital goods manufacturing as well as residential and commercial construction, which should result in strong truck sales markets in 2012 and 2013," Rusty Rush added.