Truck sales still slowing ahead of expected pick-up

Truck Industry Council says despite an election slowdown, 2013 sales should still beat last year's tally

Truck sales still slowing ahead of expected pick-up
Truck sales still slowing ahead of expected pick-up
November 6, 2013

There has been a further slight decline in truck sales compared with the same time last year, but good news appears to be on the horizon.

Official T-Mark figures just released for October 2013 show a total truck market of 2,610 sales for the month. That’s a 5 per cent drop compared with October 2012.

The Truck Industry Council (TIC) says the latest result is similar to the figures posted in August and September.

The council says that if these recent trends continue, they will cast some doubt on whether the Australian truck market for the full year will exceed that for 2012.

The October 2013 year-to-date figure was just over 25,400 units, the best result since 2008’s bumper year.

However the cumulative gain over 2012 is now less than 2 per cent, compared with a 5 per cent gain at the mid-year mark.

The TIC blames the federal election for the recent flat figures, but hopes the dampening effect is now over.

"The October truck sales could be the last month of those which were significantly affected by the 2013 federal election," TIC CEO Tony McMullan says.

"The usual two-four month lead time from order to delivery in the truck market should lead to a stronger November and particularly December total, as a result of capital investments resuming to normal levels following the election.

"Other economic conditions, especially in the housing sector, appear to be slowly improving, so TIC considers that the final tally for 2013 will probably just exceed that achieved in 2012."

The heavy duty segment was almost 7 per cent lower than in October 2012, with a total of 981 units sold.

The first half of 2013 indicated strong positive growth, but the running tally for this year is now only slightly ahead of 2012.

Medium duty truck sales were down at the same 5 per cent rate as the total market, with an October tally of 564 units. This segment is now at very similar levels to the same point last year.

Meanwhile the light duty segment declined by 16 per cent compared with October 2012 and is showing a small drop of 1 per cent in the year-to-date figures.

However, the light duty van segment continues to shine by comparison with the truck segments, posting an October total of 412, which is 21.9 per cent better than October 2012.

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