Truck sales fall just shy of annual record

Numbers for 2021 show deep resilience in face of pandemic’s second year

Truck sales fall just shy of annual record
Close but not enough consistency for a record


In the end and despite the best efforts of market leader Isuzu and some others, the commercial vehicle market’s 41,404 sales were unable to top 2018’s peak of 41,628.

ATN will explore the deeper meaning of the figures in the coming days but the Truck Industry Council (TIC) T-Mark statistics show Isuzu’s total sales across the weight ranges was a record at 10,175, a neat 150 units above the previous high of 1,027, aided by a belting 899 for December.

Hino gave able support in the endeavour with 588 for the month and 6,251 for the year against 447/5,642, as did Fuso with 446/4,770 versus 403/4,302.

Heavy Duty

The simple truth is that the big bangers failed to come to the party.

Not that the total figures of 1,266/12,999 were poor by any means and it should be noted that the December total was above that of 2018.

It is just that, against the record year’s 1,186/14,344, the shortfall here was more than the difference.

Kenworth certainly aided the segment’s December effort but the damage was done earlier in the year, the respective totals being 293/2,838 against 259/2,946.

It needed help but last year was a troubled one for Volvo, which could only manage 156/1,683 against 141/2,138, that latter total being a record, though there is some promise in last December’s figure.

Isuzu, with 204/1,515 against 184/1,858, took third place for the year but second for last December but was unable to make the most of earlier months.

Back in 2018, we noted that Mercedes-Benz "broke into four figures with 1,097 – more than double 2016’ 423 and up significantly on the following year’s 813".

This year, it consolidated its four-figure annual station with 95/1,218 against 82/1,097.

The same can be said of Scania, which ended last year on 74/1,129 with the record year coming in at 69/891.

Of those in the second division of this segment, special mention should be made of DAF ending the year on top with 76/682 v. 61/492 – its new range looks to be doing the business for owner Paccar.

Medium Duty

Pessimists might say that the era of medium-duty relevance has passed, given its steady decline over the past decade or so.

No doubt, the year total give credence to the judgement and the figure doesn’t lie. But there is a caveat, if a minor one.

Read how the 2020 figures looked this time last year, here

As we observed in 2018: "Ten years ago, at 761 and 9,609, the medium-duty segment was in its pomp.

"Though 2018 is yet to hit that level, the segment regularly tops each previous year in the second-half of this decade.

"So, at 693 and 8,210, it’s not yet threatening 2008’s totals but the segment is working on it."

Well, last year’s total was 7,390, franking the dark sentiment, but last December, at 734 units, was 41 up on December 2018. A sliver of a silver lining but a sliver regardless.

And the big three were doing their utmost, with Isuzu 333/3,067 v. 292/3,307, Hino 205/2,322 v. 2,187 and Fuso 140/1,451 v. 112/1,230.

But where once they had MAN to throw just shy of 700 units to the annual total, it has fallen by the wayside with 7/78

Light Duty

Truck sales heroics have often been found in the lightest segment. It was certainly so in 2018 and  2021 did not disappoint.

The totals of 1,203/14,354 last year showed clear air on 2018’s 1,188/11,628.

Whereas powerhouse Isuzu was then seen as threatening the 5,000 unit barrier, this was smashed to the tune of 363/5,593.

As regularly, support came from Hino 333/3,346 and Fuso 259/2,744. And just as regularly it fell away from there, though with honourable mentions the big-van brigade of Iveco 83/923 and Fiat 127/705.


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