Finweek English Edition - - Economic trends & analysis - JO­HANN VAN ZYL

THE ABOVE AV­ER­AGE growth in car sales over the past two years is dom­i­nat­ing the news so much that the per­for­mance of South Africa’s truck in­dus­try is hardly no­ticed.

In­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tion Naamsa’s sta­tis­tics for south­ern Africa show that truck sales have been ris­ing since 2000. Last year, 33 080 trucks and buses were sold, 182% more than the 11 725 six years’ ear­lier. SA’s sales dom­i­nate those fig­ures.

The in­dus­try’s ex­pla­na­tion for this sus­tained growth is the same as the rea­sons for the ma­jor in­crease in car sales: eco­nomic pros­per­ity, a strong rand that makes im­ports cheaper and low in­ter­est rates. But there’s one ad­di­tional fac­tor: rail trans­port has be­come so bad that 75% of all freight is now trans­ported by road.

The ex­cep­tional growth in the sales of heavy-duty and ex­tra heavy­duty trucks is es­pe­cially no­tice­able. Though it’s off a lower base, sales of heavy trucks in­creased by 29,3% last year com­pared to 2005 and the fig­ure for ex­tra heavy-duty trucks in­creased by 21,6%. That com­pares with the in­dus­try av­er­age of around 20%.

Naamsa’s fig­ures for Jan­uary this year (com­pared with the same month last year) con­firm the trend. Sales of all mo­tor ve­hi­cles (cars, buses and trucks) grew by an an­nu­alised 6,9%, but 41,5% more ex­tra-heavy-duty trucks were sold. Would that have any­thing to do with the 2010 Soc­cer World Cup?


Source: Naamsa, Fleet­Watch

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