Truck Industry sales figures for the month of August have revealed a drop in Australian truck sales but not as big a drop as many believed would occur, particularly given the most severe recession in more than 80 years.
Overall truck sales for August were down around 13.5 per cent on this time last year according to the Truck Industry Council Truck tracker sales figures.
Isuzu continued its long held dominance of the overall market taking 25.6 per cent of the overall market with 670 truck sales in August, bettering second placed Hino which sold 382 trucks and captured 14.6 per cent of the overall market, while Fuso was third with 311 sales and 11.9 per cent market share.
The battle for Heavy Duty supremacy saw Kenworth fight back hard in August after several months of playing second fiddle to arch rival Volvo in the segment. In fact Volvo could only manage third in the Heavy segment behind Isuzu in second. Overall Kenworth recorded 159 sales for the month, 36 ahead of Isuzu and 49 units ahead of Volvo in third.
Kenworth still trails Volvo in the heavy tally year to date, but after the August result the perennial heavy duty market leader is only 53 units behind Volvo with four months remaining. While some pundits were predicting Volvo was close to having an unassailable lead in the race to win the Heavy market after finishing July with a 101 unit lead, the August result has put Kenworth back in the game and still a chance to defend the hold it has had on the annual heavy market supremacy for the past few decades. Volvo has so far recorded 1173 heavy sales this year, to Kenworth’s 1121, while Isuzu is third with 845 heavy sales so far.
Strong demand from the major supermarket chains and last mile logistics operators has seen a reasonably buoyant light duty market and while sales are down on August 2019, the result is still fairly strong considering the prevailing economic conditions. Isuzu led light duty with 355 sales for the month, down about 6.8 per cent on its 2019 result, while Fuso took second in the segment with 197 sales, which relegated Hino to third with 172 sales. Hino executives cited a lack of stock after the record June performance along with the introduction of a new model and predicts they will make it back some for the shortfalls with more trucks available in September and October.
Medium duty took a big dip in August with the segment down 14.5 per cent on the same month last year. Isuzu was top of the medium segment with 192 sales and Hino fairly close behind on 166 sales, while Fuso was third with 87 sales.
While sales are down, most manufacturers are reporting reasonably strong order banks for the remaining months of 2020 with the need to transport goods and the increased government activity in infrastructure construction apparently fuelling demand.