Record truck sales set to continue in 08 after January boom

By: Jason Whittaker

Record truck sales in 2007 show no sign of slowing down, with the January 2008 sales figures from ERG Truck

Record truck sales in 2007 show no sign of slowing down, with the January 2008 sales figures from ERG Truck Tracker showing a 17 percent increase over the same period last year.

Leading the charge is perennial sales winner Isuzu, who sold 473 trucks in the first 31 days of the new year, compared to 401 trucks in the same period of 2007.

Also recording a sizzling start to 2008 is Kenworth, the top selling heavy truck brand, which more than doubled its sales figure for January 2007, with 201 sales compared to 100 the previous year.

Hino Trucks, second on the outright sales board in 2007 and now in January 2008, also saw its figures grow, with 411 sales in 2008 compared to 378 trucks sold in the first month of 2007.

The marked growth continues all the way through to the seventh ranked manufacturer, with Mitsubishi Fuso (3rd), followed by Kenworth, Iveco, Western Star and Nissan UD all up on the comparative figures.

Mack Trucks was the first company to record a decrease compared to 2007, with 72 trucks sold in January 2008, versus 76 trucks the previous year, while Volvo and Freightliner also saw a fall in January sales.

The most spectacular failure however was Ford, with its truck sales spiralling downwards from 97 trucks (2007) to just 21, although its sales of light commercials gave the factory a boost, selling 88 units in the latest period, up from a dismal 14 units in 2007.

Alex Stewart, Hino Australia’s Divisional Manager for Marketing, is "absolutely" delighted with the January sales result, which comes just after the company was announced as the winner of the 2007 Hotshot Award from ERG Truck Tracker, as the fastest growing brand in the market.

Stewart says while there are some vehicles being delivered from orders taken in 2007, the signs are promising for continued good sales in 2008.

"Undobtedly, the pipeline was well and truly stuffed [with orders] at the end of last year, but dealers are also reporting a good January order bank," he says.

While Hino’s marketing intelligence is pointing towards a strong 2008, Stewart says there are still expectations the final figures will be smaller than 2007, particularly with some manufacturers working to clear 2007 models.

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