Truck­maker roars ahead in sales

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels - JAMES STAN­FORD

AUS­TRALIA’S biggest truck­maker com­pleted a stun­ning re­turn to form last year. VFACTS sales fig­ures re­veal Ken­worth bounced back from a poor re­sult in 2009, lift­ing its sales by a whop­ping 35.1 per cent last year.

The PAC­CAR-owned brand, which pro­duces trucks at its fac­tory in Bayswa­ter, is the best-sell­ing truck brand in Aus­tralia.

Its re­bound from the depths of the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis is promis­ing be­cause the pre­mium brand is seen as a bell­wether for the Aus­tralian freight in­dus­try.

Sales of trucks in Aus­tralia, es- pe­cially heavy haulers, were hit hard by the re­cent fi­nan­cial woes as many op­er­a­tors held on to older trucks.

Ken­worth sold 2077 trucks in 2010, up from 1537 in 2009. It is a big in­crease, but still short of the com­pany’s boom years of 2007 and 2008, in which it sold more than 2600 trucks.

Ken­worth had the best growth in the heavy-truck seg­ment (which in­cludes trucks of 15,000kg and more), but oth­ers did see an im- prove­ment. The seg­ment it­self grew by 5.3 per cent for the year.

The sec­ond-best heavy-truck brand last year was Volvo with 1009 sales, which rep­re­sents a 13.9 per cent in­crease on 2009.

Isuzu came in third for 2010 with 839 sales, which was just up (1.8 per cent) on the prior year.

Western Star fin­ished fourth last year with 754 sales (up 22.4 per cent), edg­ing out Mack with 753 (down 0.9 per cent).

Medium-duty trucks (7500kg to 15,000kg) didn’t per­form well in 2010, with sales for the seg­ment down 6.3 per cent.

Isuzu con­tin­ued its dom­i­na­tion of the class with 2881 sales (down 7.5 per cent), in front of Hino with 1961 ( down 0.6 per cent) and Mit­subishi Fuso with 824 (down 18.9 per cent).

The light-duty seg­ment, which in­cludes trucks and vans rated at 3500kg to 7500kg, rose by 9.2 per cent last year.

Isuzu led the way with 3658 sales (up 3.2 per cent) in front of the Mercedes Sprinter with 2249 (up 7.6 per cent) while the Mit­subishi Can­ter recorded 1824 sales (up 9.9 per cent) and edged out Hino with 1811 sales (down 4.5 per cent).

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