Final quarter truck sales start strongly

By: Steve Skinner


Year shaping up well but heavy trucks a concern, Truck Industry Council says.

Final quarter truck sales start strongly
Positive outlook: TIC CEO Tony McMullan says 2014 may become the best post-GFC year to date for Australian truck sales.

 

A recent increase in truck sales compared with the same period last year has accelerated slightly, the Truck Industry Council (TIC) says.

Official T-Mark figures just released for October 2014 show a total new truck market of 2,884 sales — a 10 per cent improvement compared with October 2013.

"In fact this month’s sales are the best post-GFC October result to date," the TIC says.

"This month’s numbers are even better than those posted in July and September, and these recent trends, should they continue, would see the Australian truck market for the full year exceed that for 2013. "

TIC says year-to-date (YTD) sales at 25,679 are down less than 1 per cent compared with this time last year.

"With 2013 sales being the best recorded since 2007’s bumper year, 2014 is now poised to become the best post-GFC result for Australian truck sales," the TIC says.

"However let us not forget that while results in recent months have been solid and the whole of year result may be good compared to recent ones, the year-to-date 2014 market still lags that of 2007 by a massive 22.4 per cent, or some 5,651 trucks."

The TIC says the heavy duty segment "still continues to struggle" with sales 3 per cent lower than in October 2013, for a total of 948 units sold for the month.

YTD heavy duty truck sales are a touch over 8,700, trailing the same period last year by 6 per cent.

However medium duty sales were up a "healthy" 13 per cent in October, continuing the solid recent performance of the segment.

YTD medium duty sales, at 5,420, are now just 3 per cent down compared to the end of October 2013.

"The star performer this month was undoubtedly the light duty segment," the TIC says.

Light duty sales for October tallied 872 units for the month — a whopping 38 per cent improvement compared with the same month last year.

YTD light duty sales are now slightly up on last year, at 7,242.

Meanwhile the heavy van segment continues to show patchy results, with October being yet another month where sales lagged behind those of 2013.

The October 2014 result was down 1 per cent compared with the same month last year.

Despite the slowing in recent months, strong first half year results see the van segment well up on last year’s YTD sales, with 3,824 units sold to the end of October. That is a 10 per cent improvement on 2013 so far.

"It is clear to see that these strong van sales continue to make up for lagging trucks sales, particularly those in the heavy duty segment, in the overall numbers," the TIC says.

TIC CEO Tony McMullan says he is pleased to see the positive results in the medium and light truck segments continued in October.

"And van results, though slowing, are well up on those of 2013," he says.

"If sales continue at this level for the last two months of 2014, we may see our best post-GFC year to date, albeit well down on the 2007/2008 numbers.

"However, poor heavy duty sales continue and this is concerning as this can only lead to continued ageing of this very important part of the Australian truck fleet".

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