Start of financial year on record path TIC

Happy days continue for manufacturers with comparably buoyant two months

Start of financial year on record path TIC
Tony McMullan


Commercial vehicle sales ‘seasonal factors’ remain unchanged but the Truck Industry Council (TIC) is confident 2018 is on track to see records broken again.

If a cloud is to be discerned in this sunny disposition it is that the expected month-on-month falls at the financial year’s first two were steeper than seen recently, "albeit starting from a record peak in June".

But TIC CEO Tony McMullan touches on other factors at play as the industry becomes something of a victim of its recent success.

Picking up commentary after a month’s hiatus, TIC sees the light, medium and heavy truck segments, tracking below annual growth rates, with only the light duty van segment sales for August refusing to follow suit.

Read how the market reached some rarefied air in June, here

But it’s all a long away from crisis territory.

Heavy duty truck segment sales were up again in August, with 1,257 delivered, up 16.1 per cent, or 174 trucks, on August 2017.

"This percentage increase is however down on the year-to-date sales result for the heavy duty segment which is tracking almost twice as high at 28.7 percent when compared to this time last year," TIC says.

Medium-duty sales rebounded well in August after a weak July, with 721 delivered, an 18.4 per cent increase (112 units) over the previous August.

Light duty sales retained their mojo, with 1,154 delivered in August, up just 9.8 per cent (103 trucks) over August 2017.

TIC notes the light duty van segment has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride for the past couple of years, with the months of July and August continuing that trend.

July sales were down just over 3 per cent compared with July 2017 results, while August van sales rose 36.3 per cent for the month on August 2017.

Total August 2018 van sales for were 713, 190 units higher than for the same month last year.

"Year-to-date the total is a more grounded 8.6 per cent increase for the segment," TIC says.

"That represents 332 more van sales to the end of August this year compared to the end of August 2017."

TIC CEO Tony McMullan may need to salt some stronger superlatives away from when they will really be needed — the end of the year, unless something destroys the industry’s confidence entirely.

"It was pleasing to see double-digit-sales growth continue in the heavy- and medium-duty truck segments and while the rate of growth has slowed slightly in July and August, much of this can be attributed to seasonal sales trends for those months," McMullan says.

"We also hear that many body builders are running near, or at capacity, this may be slowing the final build of some trucks and impacting new truck deliveries slightly.

"All in all, I believe that the industry remains on track for a record sales year, potentially reaching 14,000 trucks in the heavy duty segment and close to 40,000 vehicles for the total heavy vehicle truck and van industry."


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