The Australian Truck market continues to set a cracking pace and is n course to be the best year ever in terms of sales volume with sales to the end of April ahead of both the record year of 2018 as well as last year’s near record performance.
After four months the 2022 sales tally stands at 12123, 297 trucks clear of the same point in 2018 and 583 trucks ahead of year to date sales this time last year.
The booming sales figures saw Andrew Harbison, the COO of overall market leader Isuzu, predict last week that it would better its own sales record by almost 2000 units this year and intimated that an industry record was almost a done deal unless dire consequences intervened.
That was admittedly before the Reserve Bank raised interest rate for the first time in a decade, but according to industry leaders order books remain strong and even the modest rise in interest rates predicted this year will not stop the momentum.
The most surprising thing about the ongoing market strength is the fact that normally in an election year the industry is reporting slowing sales amidst the oft quoted ‘election uncertainty’. This year it seems there is no uncertainty when it comes to buying commercial vehicles.
To underline and confirm the optimism of Harbison and his team at Isuzu, the market leader finished April with a year to date tally of 3382 trucks sold, which is 627 ahead of its tally in 2018 and 560 clear of the same point last year. For the month Isuzu sold a whopping 932 trucks, a tally believed to be its best April result ever, exceeding the April 2018 total by 183 and 144 ahead of April last year.
The result gave Isuzu a dominant 28.2 per cent overall market share, despite strong months for rivals Hino, which scored a strong 584 and Fuso with 379 sales.
Kenworth had another strong if not meteoric month selling 215 trucks to be fourth overall and best of the Heavies yet again.
Volvo was next best in fifth overall with 144 sales, just ahead of Mercedes Benz with 130, making the top six brands the only ones to break into three figures.
UD was seventh overall with 91 trucks, to be ahead of Scania on 77, Iveco with a lack lustre 65 and Mack with 46.
In Heavy Duty as mentioned earlier Kenworth ruled the roost with 215 sales in the senior class, while Isuzu again edged out Volvo for second in class, scoring 144 sales to the Swede’s 138. Next best was Scania with 77, again affected by supply issues, UD with 72 and a fast improving Hino, with 64 of its new 700 series models finding their way onto the road.
Fuso with its equally new Shogun, was just four units shy of Hino in heavies while, its stablemate, Mercedes sold 52 heavies while Mack moved 46. Behind them was a gaggle of brands in the thirties, including Freightliner with 36, Iveco and MAN with 35 each and DAF with 34, while 22 Western Stars were sold for the month.
Medium Duty, not surprisingly saw Isuzu heading the category with 264 sales and 41.8 per cent share of the mediums for April, while Hino sold 220 trucks with 34.8 per cent share and Fuso 105 sales and 16.6 per cent share. The three top Japanese brands were the only makes in triple figures with UD selling just 19 trucks and all other brands in single figures. Between them Isuzu, Hino and Fuso took 93.2 per cent sales in the medium sector.
Light Duty was much the same, with Isuzu’s stretching its dominance even further, moving 524 of its recently updated N Series models to take 43 per cent share of the sector. Hino sold just over half what Isuzu managed to move, with 300 sales and a 24.6 percent share of the sector, while Fuso sold 213 light duty trucks for 17.5 per cent share.
A long way behind the Japanese were the European van derived light trucks of Mercedes with 74 sales, Fiat with 35 and Iveco with just 26.
In the Van sector Mercedes had a bumper month moving 213 Sprinters for a whopping 50.1 per cent share of the sector, compared with Renault’s meagre 77 giving the French brand 18.3 per cent share. Volkswagen’s Crafter with 62 sales.
All in all a sizzling month for commercial vehicles with the industry believing it can weather any potential market storms post election and interest rate rises.