May new truck sales 'average'

Photography by: Taina Sohlman /

Truck Industry Council says the lower sales compared with last year are bang in the middle over 10 years

May new truck sales 'average'
Sales of new trucks for the month of May were down 7 per cent over the same month last year.


The Truck Industry Council says 2014 is proving to be an "average" year for new truck sales in more ways than one. 

The official T-Mark figures show that sales for the month of May were down 7 per cent over the same month last year. 

The May 2014 total heavy vehicle market was 2,575 units, with all segments except large vans recording losses when compared with May 2013. 

In its monthly sales figures commentary, the TIC says when looking at May sales figures for the past 10 years, the 2014 result is the fifth worst – or the fifth best – making it "average".  

"The story year-to-date is not much better," the TIC says. 

Sales this year of 11,333 units are down 5 per cent – almost 600 units – compared with the tally recorded to this time last year of 11,929 trucks and large vans. 

The heavy duty segment was hit hardest in May.  It recorded 937 deliveries, or a decline of 15 per cent compared with May 2013. 

Year-to-date, the heavy duty segment is down 4 per cent compared with 2013.  

Medium duty truck sales continue to decline, down 9 per cent over the May 2013 result at 545 units.

For the year so far, sales are down 12 per cent compared with the same time last year.

  "For the first time in a while light duty truck sales posted only a slight fall," the TIC says. 

The light duty segment posted 723 sales, down 4 per cent compared with May 2013, with year-to-date sales down 8 per cent. 

Meanwhile after a negative result in April, van sales (over 3.5 tonnes GVM) were back in positive territory in May, with 370 sales.

This is an almost 20 per cent improvement over May 2013, and year-to-date van sales are up almost 15 per cent. 

Truck Industry Council CEO Tony McMullan says of the overall market, that new truck sales typically lag behind general economic trends by three to six months. 

"However what we are currently experiencing is the truck sector being something of an indicator, or barometer, to the direction that our economy is heading," McMullan says.  

"Key economic indicators released in the past few days show that our economy is slowing and consumer and business confidence is not strong. Here at the Truck Industry Council we could have told you that this was the case a few months ago. 

"Initial reactions to the recent federal budget have done nothing to renew business or consumer confidence. 

"Hopefully we will see this turn around in the second half of the year as the government’s planned infrastructure and job creation programs start to be implemented."

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