The Australian truck market is forging ahead with strong sales in April, which have put the sales volume for the year to date well ahead of where it was in April last year.
In total 4043 heavy vehicles were sold in April 2024, 430 more than were registered in the same month last year. The result puts the market 316 ahead of the year to date sales tally for the first four months of 2023, which of course was a record year in its own right.
Isuzu, as usual, performed well leading the market with 1090 sales for the month and a 27 per cent share of the overall market. That was 58 trucks ahead of its tally for April last year, and a figure that totally shaded its opponents.
Next best in the overall market was Hino with 455 sales and 11.3 per cent share, while a huge performance by Swedish Heavy Duty specialist, Volvo, beat out the usual third placegetter in the market, Fuso, to claim the final podium place.
Volvo sold 366 trucks in April, a performance that has also given it the lead in the heavy Duty sector over rival Kenworth. Volvo’s sales were made up of 353 Heavy models and 13 Medium Duty trucks. Fuso’s total for April was 306 trucks, which included heavy, light and medium trucks.
The battle for Heavy supremacy is clearly being fought out between Volvo and Kenworth. Volvo has come close in the last few years, and actually led the market at various times during those years, however Kenworth has always stormed home to claim the honour in the closing months. At the end of April, Kenworth’s 285 monthly sales tally, all of which were Heavies. The result placed it second in the year to date tally for the heavy duty sector with 986 sales for the first four months. That puts Volvo 155 units ahead in the YTD tally for Heavy Duty. It is however early days, with eight months to play before the 2024 sales totals are finalised.
Behind Kenworth in fifth place overall is Scania with 145 sales ( all Heavy), followed by Iveco in seventh with 143, spread across all sectors but mostly light duty, and Mercedes Benz with 137 in eighth.
UD with a total of 89 and Mack with 84 rounded out the top ten in the overall market.
While Volvo and Kenworth fought out for supremacy in the Heavy market, Japanese market leader Isuzu continues to impress in the top category, selling 220 heavy models in April, just 65 less than Kenworth. It again underlines the impressive performance of Isuzu despite the fact that its heavy offering really services only the vocational part (construction etc.) of the sector. With plans to have a new prime mover for the lower end of the intrastate and linehaul market, Isuzu could really cause Kenworth and Volvo some headaches in years to come.
Scania was fourth in the heavy tally with 145 sales in April , while Mercedes-Benz was fifth with 88 heavies, just ahead of Mack’s 84 sales and UD’s 78. Fuso with 71, Hino with 67 and DAF with 57 trucks rounded out the top ten in Heavy Duty.
Three brands which produced some lack lustre results in Heavy Duty, despite the sector being up almost 20 per cent on April last year, were Western Star with 22 sales, MAN also with 22 and Freightliner with one of its lowest tallies in recent times, at just 17 heavy duty registrations.
Isuzu continued to be the dominant force in Medium Duty with 347 sales and 52.7 per cent market share in the sector, almost double the 189 sales Hino registered for its second place and 28.7 per cent share of the sector.
Fuso appears to have had supply constraints limiting its Medium duty performance registering just 73 medium trucks in April, for just 11.1 per cent share. Having said that the next best in the sector was Iveco with just 12 mediums, followed by UD with 11 and Hyundai, which continues to slowly build its sales, registering nine of its medium duty models, equal with Volvo.
The dominant Isuzu N Series blew the opposition well and truly out of the water in April with the Isuzu light duty model taking 45.5 per cent share in the sector thanks to a bumper tally of 523 sales in the sector for the month.
Isuzu’s sales were 2.6 times more than Hino’s 199 light duty sales in April, which delivered 17.3 per cent market share, while Fuso fared better with 162 light duty Canter sales in April.
Iveco moved 97 of its Daily based light duty truck chassis models to be ahead of the 75 Fiat Ducatos and the 47 Mercedes Sprinter light trucks registered for the month.
Notably Hyundai moved 23 of its Mighty Light Duty models, one of the brand’s best monthly totals, while Foton Mobility registered eight of it battery electric models.
Interestingly while Heavy and Medium sectors were up on April last year, Light Duty dipped by 129 sales compared with the same month last year , a drop of 10.1 per cent.
In heavy vans Mercedes dominated the sector with 299 Sprinters sold in April for 43.6 per cent share of the sector, more than double that of Renault with 145 Masters and 21.1 per cent share. The rest of the Van market was divided up between Ford with 93 Transits, Fiat with 69 Ducatos, VW with 54 Crafters and Iveco with 26 Dailys.
Despite the head winds of higher interest rates and a softer consumer market, the heavy commercial sector clearly powers on, but the question is will the salad days continue. Indications are that they will given order books are still full and still attracting strong inquiry.