The Australian truck market is continuing to record reasonably strong sales results as it enters the final quarter of 2019 but has dropped from last year’s record highs.

While not matching last year’s record mark, sales up to the end of September indicate some resilience, although some brands are doing better than others with some intriguing sales battles developing, both in the headlining heavy market and the volume medium duty segment.

The overall truck market is 2115 units behind the 2018 tally up to the end of September, a six per cent drop on the record setting 30665 tally for the first three quarters last year. September sales are off 336 units with 3170 trucks sold for the month or 9.5 per cent down on the monthly figures for September last year when 3506 units were moved.

The battle of the titans in heavy duty has seen Volvo closing the gap on long term market leader Kenworth. and the Swede has actually outsold its US owned rival in the past few months For the year to date Volvo is sitting just four basis points or just 22 trucks behind Kenworth.  Volvo won the heavy sales race in September with 198 sales for the month while Kenworth was 21 units behind with 177 sales for September. This time last year Kenny had a 504 truck sales margin on Volvo for the year to date and sold 77 more trucks than Volvo for the month.

It is clear that the battle for the heavy market over the final three months of 2019 will be intense with both giants throwing everything at the fight for market supremacy.

Although Isuzu continues to hold an enormous lead in the overall truck market as well as in light and medium duty sectors, it has seen rival Hino chipping away at its market shares and closing the gap since the launch of the latter’s 500 series range earlier this year.

The safety rich Hino offering appears to have struck a chord with truck buyers and it has closed the gap on Isuzu which at this point in the past two years has held a better than 10 per cent lead in market share over Hino. However Hino finished September with a gap of 7.9 per cent in the market share for the month and a shade over 8 per cent for the year to date figures.

In medium duty Isuzu held a whopping 44.9 per cent share in the sector for the month of September 2018, 18 per centage points ahead of Hino.  A year on Hino has clawed back the market share margin with Isuzu capturing 38.3 per cent of the market last month and Hino had 29.4 per cent of the medium duty market, a margin of 8.9 per centage points for the month.

Year to date Isuzu has dropped a few basis points from its position a year ago while Hino has improved its share by 4.1 per centage points.  This time last year Isuzu had a 39.8 per cent medium duty market share for the year to date, and Hino had a 26.7 per cent slice of the segment.  Last month saw Hino improve its year to date share to 30.8 while Isuzu dropped to 39.4 per cent market share.

Interestingly it appears Hino has captured the sales volume increases from rivals Fuso and UD as well as Isuzu, with the Toyota group truck maker the only one of the Japanese manufacturers to increase its medium duty sales year on year.

The overall medium duty market saw 622 trucks sold across the country in September down 33 units on the same month in 2018 while year to date the market is 413 medium duty sales behind where it was 12 months ago with this years tally standing at 5673 while last year 6086 medium trucks had been sold for the first nine months.

Light duty sales are off 987 units year on year with the tally for 2019 at 8567 compared with 9554 for the first nine months of 2018. September Light Duty sales saw 986 trucks sold across the country compared with 1184 sold in the same month last year.

Isuzu was still clear light duty market leader, however Hino has also clawed back some of the margin both in year to date tally and for the month of September compared with last year, but the gains have only been marginal.