Truckmaker roars ahead in sales
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).