Vans holding up the commercial vehicle sales figures

TIC notes third-largest sales year on record after particularly huge 2018

Vans holding up the commercial vehicle sales figures
Tony McMullan


The Truck Industry Council (TIC) has put some context to the 2019 commercial vehicle sales performance.

It points out the total of 37,960 units comes behind only 2018’s 41,628 in sales and 2007’s 38,131 and was comfortably ahead of the next best year’s performance, 2017’s 36,808.

"While the overall result for the year was solid, the outcome was very much set up by great sales in the first half of 2019," TIC says.

"Worrying signs were the significant slowing of the market from July onward, with the back half of the year being only the seventh best on record, a significant contrast to the first two quarters.

"All truck segments were down compared to last year’s results, however heavy van sales bucked the overall market trend, setting a new sales record in 2019."

The light duty (LD) van segment saw record December sales with 528 deliveries for the month, up an 36.1 per cent (140 vans), over December 2018 and bettering the previous best December result, that of 2017, by 29 deliveries.

The fourth quarter total of 1,526 unit sales was up on quarter four 2018 by 19.1 per cent (245 units), however, fell just short of breaking the fourth quarter van sales record set in 2017 by just nine vans.

A total of 6,329 vans were sold last year, up on the 2018 result of 5,945 by 6.5 per cent. Van sales now account for 16.7 per cent of the commercial vehicles market.

Read how the 2019 and December figures were reported, here

"It was pleasing to see that the final heavy vehicle sales numbers for 2019 were the third best on record and that van sales set a new Australian record," TIC CEO Tony McMullan says.

"However the news was not all good, with significant softening of the market in the second half of 2019 a concern as we head into a new year and a new decade in 2020.

"In particular, all truck segments saw fewer sales in 2019 compared with 2018.

"I was pleased to see that the December result was better than forecast, noting that this better than expected result was largely due to some spectacular heavy van and not truck sales.

"Hopefully we will see a resurgence of truck sales in 2020 and the potential for a strong result as we enter a new decade."


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