Truck sales decline continues

November figures way down on the same time last year, but year-to-date neck and neck

Truck sales decline continues
Truck sales decline continues
December 9, 2013

The recent decline in truck sales compared with the same period last year is continuing.

Official T-Mark figures just released for November show sales of 2,542 units, a whopping 16 per cent drop against November 2012.

This latest result is larger than the single figure drops posted in August, September and October, compared with the same months last year.

The news is not all bad, however, with the cumulative year to date figure of nearly 28,000 trucks being just 46 units less than this time last year.

Nevertheless, with only one month of sales left in 2013, the Truck Industry Council (TIC) says it is now unlikely that the Australian truck market for the full year will beat 2012.

"The November truck sales likely indicate that some companies have put off their vehicle purchasing and investment decisions from latter in 2013, until 2014," TIC CEO Tony McMullan says.

"I have not ruled out a resurgence in December though, with potential deliveries of new trucks early in the month to handle the festive season freight task."

Sales expectations had been high mid-year, with a 5 per cent cumulative gain posted.

"The market is only 46 units behind the same period last year, so the final tally for 2013 will be close to that achieved in 2012," McMullan says.

"As for 2013 result being up on 2012, it could go either way."

The heavy duty segment was almost 25 per cent lower in November compared with the same month last year, with a total of 909 units sold.

The running tally for this segment is now almost 2 per cent behind that of 2012.

Medium duty truck sales are down in line with the total market, with November’s total of 533 units being 15 per cent lower than November 2012.

Light duty truck sales of 728 units were down almost 20 per cent compared with November 2012, and this segment is now showing a drop of 3 per cent in the year-to-date figures.

However, the light duty van segment continues to buck the overall trend, posting a November total of 372 sales, well up on November 2012.

The van segment growth rate continues to accelerate and is now at 14 per cent in the year-to-date comparison.

The TIC says it is clear that light duty vans are playing an increased role in the 2013 freight equation.

November saw a slight change in the pecking order in terms of year-to-date sales, at positions eight and nine. Daimler stablemates Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner swapped places, with Mercedes’ tally climbing to 820 for the year, against Freightliner’s 808.

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