March a watershed month for truck sales


Totals climb out of post-financial crisis shadows

March a watershed month for truck sales
Truck sales are onwards and upwards

 

Commercial vehicle sales erected a major milestone in March, Truck Industry Council (TIC) T-Mark statistics show.

For the first time in 11 years, the March total of 3,447 and the first quarter total of 8,675 were above all previous comparable figures.

In 2008, just as the Global Financial Crisis was winding up to squeeze life out of the market, the figures were 2,236 and 5,610 respectively.

Of the present big names, this year’s March saw only a newly resurgent Fuso, a battling Freightliner and a languishing Western Star fail to top March 2008.

On a month-on-month basis also, the first quarter of the year showed a steady rise too that will be pleasing for most truckmakers, up from February’s 3,001 and January’s 2,227.

In totals by make, Hino is now consolidated in the 400s at 440, up from January’s 314, while Fuso has bounded each month by around 80 units, at 373 after January’s 201, while Isuzu’s iron grip on top spot only seems to tighten, having begun the quarter on 477 and ended it on 817.

In the heavy-duty segment, Kenworth’s 212 for the month and 551 for the quarter saw it clearly in front — it was also above 2008’s 205 but a fast start to that year’s quarter meant it could not be overhauled.

All challengers for the top spot and others made every month this year a winner, leaving the monthly segment total in four figures for the first time at 1,174, against 971 in 2008, and 2,903 for the quarter, against 2,845 in 2008.

The medium-duty segment was not quite as strong, falling four short of 2008 for the month at 742 and more than 200 short for the quarter.

The month-on-month growth was snappy, though, with all big names bar MAN moving higher and Isuzu’s dominance obvious at 290 in March, up from 131 in January.

Light duty truck totals have made 2008 a memory, though, with four figures for a given month at the segment’s mercy with 994, compared with 2008’s 916, and the quarterly performance at 2,575 against 2008’s 2,356.

With Isuzu naturally stitching up top spot, the heat in this year’s battle is for second spot remains between Fuso and Hino.

The former has sunk the spurs into its sales game, starting the year 51 units behind its traditional rival only to slip seven units above in March.

 

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