The surge in trucks sales has rolled on through the first month of 2018 continuing the strong 2017 results into January with a total of 2227 trucks sold during the month, coming to within 20 units of the all time record January result set ten years ago.

The Truck Industry Council figures show this year’s first month sales result is more than 200 trucks clear of the January result last year.

The sales successes have been spread across the market with some strong results from Hino, Iveco, MAN and perpetual heavy-duty market leader Kenworth.

Hino has made big inroads into overall market leader and long time rival Isuzu. Compared with January last year Hino was up 103 trucks recording 314 total sales last month, a result that gave it 14.1 per cent market share. This time last year it had 11 per cent while Isuzu had 24.4 per cent of the overall truck market. Isuzu actually sold nine more trucks this January than it did in the same month last year but with Hino’s surge it meant that it dropped a full three per cent in overall market share.

Hino’s main gains were in medium duty where it sold 118 units, up 21 on its January 2017 segment result and in light duty where it moved 64 more trucks. It also moved 18 more Heavy Duty Hinos for the month.

Hino Australia’s general manager of brand and franchise development, Bill Gillespie, told Truck and Bus News it was a great result for Hino and comes on the back of a big order bank for the brand.

“The market is very buoyant and in fact in January we took 100 more orders than we normally do, while our dealers tell us there was no break over Christmas and that business was strong right the way through,” Gillespie said.

“We are now holding the biggest order bank we’ve ever had and we are looking at very strong results this month and also in March and I can’t see it stopping for the rest of the year,” he added.

Isuzu didn’t have a bad month, it still led the market overall and moved 477 trucks for the month, nine more than January 2017 but other makers made bigger gains in a rising market.

Other brands rose including Iveco which sold 119 units up from 68 in January 2017, with gains in heavy duty and light duty but a drop of 2 units ion its medium duty performance.

MAN had another strong month, again we believe on the back of the continuing deliveries to the Australian Defence Force rather than to retail customers. Market insiders believe the ADF order accounted for about 90 units. The German brand distributed by Penske recorded 119 deliveries, up from just 41 in January last year, while its Penske stable mate Dennis Eagle continues its rising sales fortunes with 19 deliveries last month after selling just four in the same month last year and follows a 12 truck tally in December 2017.

Hyundai’s bold claims that it would hold a substantial market share by the end of this year, took another hit with the returning brand scoring just six sales in January signalling it will have to make lots of ground if it is to achieve its lofty sales targets this year.

Even returning heavy-duty brand International scored 10 sales for the month.

Kenworth’s had a tremendous performance to rule the heavy duty market yet again while also scoring some big sales gains over the same time last year. In January last year Kenworth moved 61 trucks but last month it recorded sales of 163 units not only giving it heavy duty supremacy but taking it to fourth in the overall market.

In a surging heavy duty market which rose from 47i9 units in January last year to a whopping 756 units last month, Kenworth, Isuzu and Mercedes Benz all made big gains. The big K ‘s 102-unit improvement trumped everyone, while Benz continues to reap the benefits of its new Actros range up 54 units on its 2017 January tally of just 24 heavy-duty trucks. Isuzu increased heavy-duty sales by 39 units and Hino rose 18 units in results that signal the buoyancy of the economy and the construction industry in particular.

Medium duty sales of 437 units was also up on last January’s result, which saw 360 trucks sold in the segment and while shy of the medium duty record for January, set in 2008 it was still impressive and its difficult to compare with a result set a decade ago, particularly with changing trends in road transport.

In vans Mercedes ruled a market that was down 89 units on the same month last year. Benz moved 166 vans to take 42.7 per cent of the van market, almost double the share of nearest rival Renault with 21.6 per cent. This time last Renault was cock a hoop having sold 257 vans. This year however its January result was just 85 vans, disappointing but enough to make it second in the van market to Benz.

All in all the market was strong and signals a strong commercial vehicle sector in the year ahead.