Sales record on target
THE YEAR 2007 was a record year for Australian truck sales, but those figures look likely to be surpassed in 2018, despite the doomsayers predicting it would take much longer to recover from the global financial crash. According to the Truck Industry Council (TIC), 27,159 commercial vehicles were sold in Australia by the end of August, up from 23,008 at the same time in 2017. That’s a healthy leap in the right direction.
Despite the TIC reporting the usual drop-off at the end of the financial year, sales are well on track to surpass last year’s total tally.
The downside of the increased demand for new trucks, mainly the imported models, is that customers are having to wait longer for their purchases to arrive.
Leading the market across all sectors is perennial pacesetter Isuzu, which has increased its market percentage as well as year-to-date sales figures. However, Isuzu’s main improvement has come through the medium duty and heavy duty segments. In the light duty category Hino has narrowed the gap, although that gap remains significant.
Isuzu is one of the notable big movers in the heavy duty sector. Although its market percentage has increased only slightly, at the end of August it had sold more than 300 heavy duty trucks compared to the same time period in 2017, maintaining its third place position behind Kenworth and Volvo.
‘King’ Kenworth remains the frontrunner in the heavy market, increasing its market share percentage from 17.8 to 19.9, and selling more than 1,800 trucks during those eight months.
Volvo’s percentage has remained static, despite selling more than 300 trucks than the same time last year. Volvo Group Australia, however, could argue that its combined stable of Volvo, Mack and UD trucks has outpointed Paccar’s combination of Kenworth and DAF in both percentages and sales.
Among other heavy duty manufacturers, MercedesBenz has moved up to fourth place with a healthy increase in sales, although stablemate Freightliner suffered a slight slump. Freightliner will be banking on the arrival of the new Cascadia in 2020 (see page 90) to lift its stocks and put the pressure on conventional models from Kenworth and Mack.
Aside from Volvo, other European truck makers appear to be treading water. Despite the impact of its Next Generation models, Scania suffered a slight drop in sales, as did MAN, although the latter’s new 640hp TGX 26.640 should see an improvement when it hits eventually hits the market.
Iveco also has dropped slightly in heavy duty percentages, although its sales have slightly increased, not including the modest amount of International trucks sold since it recently returned to the Iveco Australia fold.
All up, TIC anticipates 2018 to be a record year for truck sales in Australia, reaching 14,000 in the heavy duty segment and close to 40,000 for the total truck and van market.