Another average month for truck sales in August

Glass half full or glass half empty over the past 10 year period, says Truck Industry Council

Another average month for truck sales in August
Truck sales are treading water


After a slight surge in sales in July, the new truck market has settled back into the "average" position it has taken for the first half of 2014, says the Truck Industry Council (TIC).

The total truck market for August was 2,552 units.

This figure is up slightly on the same time last year, but down on the results posted for August 2012, and as usual well down on the pre-GFC results.

"Most months in 2014 have proved to be average and August continued this trend being the fifth best, or the fifth worst August, in the past ten years," the TIC commentary on the sales results says.

The 2014 cumulative total to the end of August is 19,567 vehicles, lagging the same period last year by nearly 3 per cent and nearly 20 per cent lower than the pre-GFC result in August 2008.

The heavy duty segment produced a fall of 7 per cent for August, with a total of 838 trucks sold. It’s down nearly 6 per cent for the year so far compared to 2013.

However, the medium duty truck, light duty truck and heavy van segments were all up on the August 2013 results.

For the second consecutive month medium duty trucks posted a gain in sales, to 560 units, which is 7 per cent above the same month last year.

But these two months of growth have not made up for poor first half year sales, and year-to-date the MD segment lags behind 2013 by 5 per cent.

As with MD, light duty truck sales posted their second month of growth, up 9 per cent for the month to a tally of 769.

"These two months of strong LD sales has closed the gap on 2013 sales, with year-to-date light duty sales trailing by only 3.6 per cent," says the TIC commentary.

It says that after a "surprisingly bad month" for vans in July, the van market "bounced back" in August.

Total sales were 385, up a massive 36 per cent over August 2013.

The van segment is the only one to post year-on-year growth so far, being up 13 per cent 2013.

TIC CEO Tony McMullan says the August truck industry sales  reflect the broader economy, "with some areas doing well while others are static or in decline".

"Business confidence is patchy and this is reflected in capital investment expenditure at present," McMullan says.

"While the overall numbers for the year are behind those for the same period in 2013, the gap is closing slightly and for the month of August we saw sales growth in three of the four heavy vehicle segments.

"We have now had two consecutive months of growth when compared to this time last year and I hope that this trend will continue for the rest of 2014 and into next year."

In terms of individual brands, probably the most notable August sales result was 118 for Mercedes-Benz, which pushed it ahead of Mack into 7th place on the pecking order.

However Scania’s August sales nearly halved to 42, pulling UD ahead into 11th place.

The top dozen brands in order were Isuzu, Hino, Fuso, Kenworth, Iveco, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Mack, Freightliner, Western Star, UD and Scania.


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