Features Latest News — 12 June 2018

The Australian commercial vehicle market is booming and after five months is on track to record both a record half-year result and a stonking year-end volume number as well.

Truck sales to the end of May are up a massive 21.9 per cent on the first five months last year with 16692 sales so far this year bettering last year’s results by 2187 units. At this rate the industry will go close to breaking the 40000 unit barrier for the first time ever.

In fact the May total sales figure of 3913 was the best monthly result for May since 2007 when the industry was sailing along nicely on the wave of mining boom euphoria before that wave crashed into the GFC. The monthly result was 17.7 per cent ahead of that record month figure back in 2007 and 20.9 per cent above May 2017. Yes sir, truck sales are booming.

TIC President, Phil Taylor from Isuzu said that, June, is typically a strong month for trucks sales as the end of the financial year approaches and that the signs are all positive that we will reach the halfway point of 2018 with a result that will rewrite the history books for heavy vehicle sales in Australia.

“This has been a long time in the making.” Taylor said.

“May was a strong month for heavy vehicle sales with all segments posting gains over May 2017 and it is pleasing to see the heavy duty segment continuing to lead new truck sales growth in 2018 with record breaking month after record breaking month. Medium duty truck sales are also continuing their strong start to the year,” Taylor added.

As Taylor said heavy-duty truck sales again led the way with sales growth of a massive 31 per cent over May last year and almost 200 trucks ahead of the pore GFC result in may 2007. A total of 1,328 heavy-duty units were sold in May compared with 1014 in May last year and 1156 back in 2007. The year to date figures are even better with 5387 heavies being sold for the first five months, up a staggering 38.8 per cent or 1506 units on the same period last year.

While heavies took the headlines medium duty also performed strongly up 17.3 per cent or 110 units on the same month in 2017. There were 747 medium duty trucks sold in Australia in May and so far this year medium sales for the first five months are running at 3189 units, which is 621 trucks or 23.7 per cent up in the same period last year.

Gains in light duty were smaller but there were gains all the same, with sales of 1215 units for the month up 13.5 per cent on the 2017 figure of 1071 sales while year to date 4,717 light duty have been sold, up 499 units or 11.8 per cent on January to May last year.

Van sales in May were up by 21 per cent over the same month last year with 623 vans sold, taking year -to-date van sales to 2,446, up 211 vans 9.4 per cent on the result to the end of May 2017.

CEO of Truck Industry Council Tony McMullan says the sales figures are a good indicator that business confidence is strong in the road freight sector as it is across most, if not all, economic segments.

“Sales to the end of May continue to be the strongest that we have ever seen, ahead of the previous record year of 2007 and the indicators are there for a record first half result and hopefully a similar result in quarters three and four of 2018.” Mr McMullan stated.

Looking across the different brands the numbers add up strongly in most cases with just about every brand moving metal.

Isuzu had a bumper month selling close to 1000 units with 905 sales to its credit while its second place rival Hino registered 492 sales and Fuso on 409

For instance, Mercedes-Benz vans pushed through the 300 barrier to 307 in a year when it was held under the 200 mark and compared with May last year at 209. It is also at 1,002 for the year so far — record speed.

Kenworth again dominated heavy duty sales with 261 units moving out the door while just about all of the other heavy brands had very strong results, with Volvo selling 211 trucks to be in second, Isuzu were next best on 136 while Scania had a massive result with 127 sales,

Mack also had a strong showing with 110 units for the month while Mercedes Benz scored 106 sales, as its new Actros models start to really gain some traction in the market.

Isuzu dominated medium duty with 323 sales for the month and 1,210 for the year while Hino grabbed 207 for the month taking its year to date tally to 860, while Fuso was a little off the boil with 92 sales in May taking its ytd total to 473.

Isuzu reigned over light-duty sales with 446 units and 1,741 while Hino was a little off the boil with 241slipping back to third behind Fuso with 269 for the month.

Amidst all the good news two brands stood out as disappointments with International scoring five sales for the month, giving it 22 sales in total so far this year and this means that if the company is to meet its own self professed target for 2018 the sales staff will be working over time to move 78 more ProStars in the last seven months. The other brand to again fall short of expectations was Hyundai with just seven registrations.

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