Truck Industry Council reflects on sales new normal


With election effect noted, heavy-duty segment continues falling but others hold ground

Truck Industry Council reflects on sales new normal
Phil Taylor hopes for a rise in heavy-duty truck sales after the election.

 

The Truck Industry Council (TIC) is sanguine about the state of the commercial vehicles market, despite the dark cloud continuing to hover over heavy vehicle sales.

Apart from that, TIC president Phil Taylor is relatively happy with the sales result to the end of April, with other brackets holding up.

"It is encouraging to see that the light and medium segments of the heavy vehicle market doing well, with sales in both segments tracking ahead of those of 2015, while van sales are sitting about where they were last year," Taylor says.

"I do, however, remain concerned at the continued slow sales in the heavy duty segment.

"Perhaps we will see this pick up after the federal election, as the purchase of a heavy truck involves a greater financial outlay and businesses may be waiting for the next four years of political direction before committing to such investments."

Reflecting on the patchy sales results so far this year, TIC CEO Tony McMullan also perceives pre-election caution at play.

"Light duty truck sales have been the one constant over the first four months of 2016 with sales in each of the first four months up over those seen in 2015," McMullan says.

"The medium truck segment has seen three positive sales months and one negative and continues to place ahead of 2015.

"Light duty van sales appear to be cooling with two positive and two negative months. Year-to-date van sales align closely with those of 2015.

"Heavy duty truck sales continue to decline in 2016 with the two negative month sales outweighing the two positive month sales."

The TIC notes that growth in the strongest performing segment last year, light duty vans (LDV), has cooled somewhat in the first part of 2016.

For April, LDV saw just 390 sales, down 20.1 percent, or 98 vans, on April 2015.

Year-to-date the story is a little more positive with van sales tracking at about the same rate as last year, 1,710 sales in 2016 verses 1,702 sales for the same period in 2015.

This is a slight increase of 0.5 of a percent, or an additional eight vans.

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