It was another boom month in the Australian truck industry in March, possibly the best third month results ever, with total sales of 3797, exceeding the performance in the same month of the record setting year of 2018 (3447) as well as last year (3558).
Just about every one of the major brands exceeded previous March performances and the result took the industry total so far this year to 8817, well ahead of the year to date tally at this point in both 2018 (8675) and 2021 (8325).
The performance defied predictions that the looming Federal election would bump the industry into neutral for a coast to polling day, as per the traditional thinking at this time in the cycle as well as factoring the ongoing supply issues.
However a few brands had small drops in sales performance compared to the same month in recent years, which according to universal opinion could be marked down to the ongoing supply chain and electronic chip shortages.
Isuzu again hit it out of the park, with a market leading tally of 1057 trucks for 27.8 per cent share in March, 237 trucks clear of March last year and 240 trucks ahead of the 2018 tally. It also gave Isuzu a year to date tally of 2450 trucks 244 ahead of where it was at the end of March in 2018 and 216 up on where it was this time last year.
Hino sold 615 trucks to take 16.2 per cent share in March to take its normal second spot, and kicked a little clear of rival Fuso after being under pressure for the past few months as a result of those ongoing supply issues. The result also put Hino well ahead of March last year (550) and March 2018 (440).
Fuso also sold up a storm in March registering 435 sales to again be third overall with 11.5 per cent of the market, again well ahead of its performance in 2018 (373) and last year (378).
Together the three leading Japanese brands took a combined 55.5 Per cent of the overall truck market, underlining the Australian market’s ongoing demand for the Japanese brands.
Total market March 2022
Kenworth continued its unrelenting domination of heavy duty also taking fourth overall in the market with a tally of 272 units for the month, interestingly not all heavy duty, selling one medium model in March, a rarity for the big truck specialist. Kenworth bettered its Swedish rival Volvo by close to 100 trucks. Volvo sold 177 units, two of which were medium duty models, the rest in the Heavy class, placing it fifth overall. Isuzu again sold more heavies to be second in the sector with 186 units
Although Iveco was sixth in the overall market, it was Mack that finally after months of lack lustre sales performances recorded a strong figure to be fourth overall in Heavy Duty with 90 units, ironically just ahead of its fellow Volvo Group stablemate UD, which was fourth with 70 heavies. This meant the three Volvo brands were third, fourth and fifth in the market to have a combined tally of 337, out gunning the combined sales of the two Paccar brands, Kenworth and DAF for the first time in the last couple of years. DAF sold 60 heavy models to give the Paccar stable a total of 331 units for the month in the top class.
Mercedes-Benz was sixth in Heavy Duty with 69 trucks just ahead of DAF with Scania registering 59, Hino on 58 and Fuso on 57. Even Iveco had a better tally with 47 Heavies in March.
Freightliner is still stuck in low gear with 38 for the month, with MAN on 36 and Western Star on 26 the only other Heavy models to break double figures.
Heavy Duty March 2022
The Medium sector with 686 sales was slightly down on where it was in 2018 (742) but up on its tally for March last year (602) and Isuzu lead the way with 43 per cent market share and 295 sales, 67 units clear of Hino’s 228 and 33.2 per cent share. Fuso with 121 mediums in March and 17.6 per cent share was the only other brand to break three figures. The next best was UD with 15 units while there was a gaggle of single figure results including, Iveco on nine, MAN seven, with Benz, Volvo, Hyundai, DAF and interestingly newcomer SEA Electric all with two units and that rare single medium duty sale for Kenworth rounding out the sector.
Medium Duty March 2022
In light duty the accelerator was well and truly wide open with Isuzu selling 576 trucks to lead the sector with 40.3 per cent market share, up 218 units on its March 2018 performance and 92 up on March last year.
The Light market with a total of 1428 for the month put the sector well ahead of both the 2018 year to date at the end of March with 994 and 2021 with 1231.
Hino was also up with 329 sales and 23 per cent share with that figure also well ahead of its March 2018 (205) and March 2021 (264) results. Fuso was third overall with 257 sales and 18 per cent share of the Light market.
Again the Japanese brands were so far ahead that no other make made triple figures, with Iveco the next best with 97, then Fiat with 66, Mercedes with 57, Renault 20 Volkswagen with 13 and Hyundai 12.
Light Duty 2022
The Van sector was the only one to be down on its 2021 and 2018 march tallies with a total of 438 vans sold last month. That compares with 537 in 2018 and 690 March last year.
Mercedes dominated with 155 units and 35.4 per cent share, with Renault best on 95, Ford on 79 and VW on 64.
If the pace of sales in the commercial vehicle market continues at this pace on into the second half of the year we will have a new record on the books. Let’s hope supply can flow and that the obvious market demand is met all the way through to December.