Archive, Industry News

Truck sales continue to plumb the depths

April sales down 7 per cent on the same month last year, and third worst April since 2003


The sluggish start to truck sales in 2014 is continuing with the total number of new units sold in April down 7 per cent on the same time last year.

Official T-Mark figures show a total of 2,214 trucks and large commercial vans were sold, representing the third worst April since 2003.

Only sales in the GFC-affected years of 2009 and 2011 saw lower April figures, says the Truck Industry Council (TIC).

Year-to-date sales are now down by more than 4 per cent, or 402 units, compared with the first four months of 2013.

The medium-duty segment took the biggest hit in April, with just 430 sales, down more than 15 per cent on the same month last year.

The TIC says “the story is not much better” in year-to-date terms for the medium segment, which is down 13 per cent at less than 1,800 sales so far.

Light duty truck sales were also way down with 651 sales for the month, a 9 per cent decrease over April 2013.

Year-to-date sales of light trucks are also down 9 per cent with a total of 2,465 sales.

However, the heavy duty segment suffered only a slight drop compared with April 2013, of less than 3 per cent, with almost 800 sales.

The heavy segment is down just 0.6 per cent, or 18 trucks, for the first four months of the year compared to 2013, with almost 3,200 units sold so far.

For the first time in many months the large van category saw a loss in sales when compared to the same month in 2013 – but only by two units.

However TIC says this one month of reduced sales has not impacted on the year-to date sales performance of the van segment, which has posted more than 1,300 sales in 2014, a 13 per cent improvement over 2013.

Tony McMullan, CEO of the Truck Industry Council, says of the overall performance: “After a relatively strong March result we were hoping for a strong second quarter, however this now looks unlikely with Q2 off to a poor start.

“These sales figures would appear to reflect the fact that purchase orders placed over the past few months for vehicle deliveries in April, take into account the general mood of business at the time which has been cautious as the economy transitioned from its reliance upon the mining sector.

“Hopefully within the Federal Budget announcement next week there will be incentives for Australian business, particularly in the road transport area, and we will start to see a more positive corporate sector followed by solid economic growth in the second half of 2014.”

In terms of brand pecking order, the first 15 places remained unchanged in April.

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