What a difference a year makes to truck sales

Truck sales executives will be feeling a lot more secure about their future as the global economies, and especially the local market, show signs of recovery

By Gary Worrall | June 8, 2010


Just 12 months ago, the Australian new truck market was in turmoil, with sales shrinking faster than a cheap flannelette shirt as the full impact of the global financial crisis (GFC) hit home.


Now, while they are not yet turning cartwheels, there is no doubt sales executives are feeling a lot more secure about their future as the global economies, and especially the local market, show signs of recovery.


Rather than offering a straight interpretation of the monthly truck deliveries, this month will instead be a straight comparison of the month of May, 2010 versus 2009.


The first non-surprise of the day comes with the naming of the top-five truck brands, 12 months apart – for 2010 it is Isuzu clearly ahead of Hino and Fuso, followed by Kenworth and then Iveco.


In 2009, the top five, somewhat predictably, were Isuzu, then Hino, Fuso and Kenworth, while Volvo rounded out the leaderboard in those dark days of fiscal restraint.


The big surprise comes when the actual numbers of delivered trucks are confirmed, year-on-year:


  • Isuzu: May 2010 – 629; May 2009 - 623
  • Hino: May 2010 – 323; May 2009 - 415
  • Fuso: May 2010 – 276; May 2009 - 242
  • Kenworth: May 2010 – 183; May 2009 - 103
  • Iveco: May 2010 – 109; May 2009 – 81
  • Volvo: May 2010 – 93; May 2009 – 91.


While the numbers are not all that different in many cases, it does show how the market has improved, with Iveco’s 109 deliveries in May 2010 enough to place it fourth in May 2009, ahead of Kenworth, while Volvo’s 93 would have kept the big Swede steady in fifth overall.


While this shows virtually no change between the two months, the real story is in the cumulative year-to-date results, with Isuzu on 3,006 (2,611); Hino 1,703 (1,627); Fuso 1,371 (1,098); Kenworth 706 (607); Iveco 470 (317) and Volvo 368 (358).


It is clear the more popular segments of light and medium duty are bouncing back relatively quickly in 2010, but the heavy duty market is still struggling.


Western Star, the third-ranked brand for deliveries in May 2010 with 71 units and 337 year-to-date, was languishing during 2009, with just 57 deliveries for the month and 278 for the year; while Mercedes-Benz 36/160 in 2010 was just beginning to show signs of life in May 2009, when its numbers read 33/95.


Despite the doom and gloom, bargains were still bargains, as Freightliner found, with 64/323 in May 2009, although the execs must be scratching their heads this year, with its sales going backwards to 59/278 at the end of May 2010.


In what seems to be a tough time for American trucks, Mack is also down compared with its results of 12 months ago, finishing May 2009 with 70/315, a massive result compared with 66/238 after May 2010.


For a full analysis of the May results, see the July edition of ATN. Visit the Subscription page, email see the Contact Us page or call 1300 461 528 to subscribe.

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