As predicted 2022 Australian truck sales set a new all-time sales record of 44,379 vehicles over 3.5 tonne,bettering the previous record year in 2018 by 2751 trucks, a 6.2 per cent increase on the 2018 result, as well as topping 2021’s impressive numbers by 7.2 per cent or 2975 vehicles.
The result was all the more impressive given the ongoing but improved supply chain issues affecting the industry and a continuing backlog in body builders. Most manufacturers report that they have order banks stretching out into 2024 with very little sign demand will fall by much, despite interest rate rises and other pressures.
The figures compiled by the Truck Industry Council in its T-Mark data released this week also revealed new sales records were also set in both the Heavy and Light truck segments, underlining the robust sales climate across the truck market.
This saw a new sales record for the month of December with 4112 trucks moved in the final month of the year, the best ever for a December sales period, beating the previous record of 3528 set in December 2021 by 16.6 per cent or 584 trucks. Meanwhile the fourth quarter was also a record period with 12,144 trucks registered in the final three months, the best fourth quarter result in the history of record keeping, beating the previous best set 15 years ago in 2007, prior to the GFC, when 11,013 trucks were sold.
Overall Isuzu again topped the sales charts, the marque’s 35th consecutive year of overall market supremacy, finishing 2022 with total sales of 13360 trucks and a 30.1 per cent share of the total truck market. That meant that Isuzu outsold its nearest rival, Hino by a factor of 2.27 to one. Admittedly Hino was badly affected by its parent company’s admissions of wide scale emission and fuel efficiency fraud in Japan with cessation of production for a broad cross section of models and the inability to sell some due to the scandal, but nothing can be taken away from Isuzu. The market leader, and its Australian management team have been extremely strategic in its approach to the various supply chain issues that have afflicted the market and have reaped the rewards. Just five years ago Isuzu stunned the market and surprised itself by selling 10,000 trucks a year, and given better supply and less delays at body builders it could potentially have topped 15,000 units. That will certainly be a target for the brand in 2023 and 24.
The Hino issues very nearly saw perennial third place brand Fuso overtake its rival in the closing months of 2022, finishing the year just 846 behind Hino, having outsold it in October, November and December. Hino sold 5867 for 13.2 per cent share for the year, while Fuso finished with 5021 for 11.3 per cent share. Daimler management, and in particular, Fuso boss Alex Muller doubled down in the closing months and pushed hard to try to take number two, and you can rest assured that they will continue that mission in 2023, with the prospect of Hino’s ongoing supply issues.
While Isuzu had another amazing monthly sales result, scoring its best ever December sales result selling 1250 trucks for 30.4 per cent market share for the month, with Fuso, as previously mentioned, again finishing second with 512 units and 12.5 per cent share while Hino finished in third for another month with 382 trucks and 9.6 per cent share.
Volvo continued to revel in the revitalisation of its sales, thanks to the trucks it is sourcing from its Saudi Arabian factory, with the Swedish brand taking fourth overall with 328 trucks, again bettering its arch rival Kenworth by 47 trucks. Kenworth with 3003 sales for the year finished ahead of Volvo which scored 2581 sales for the 12 months.
Volvo’s sales improvement continued with its two other brands as well, with UD selllng 136 trucks in December to be sixth overall, while Mack moved 60 vehicles to be 11th ranked in the overall market. UD finished three ahead of Iveco and 33 ahead of Mercedes-Benz for the month. Scania was ninth in December with 86 trucks while DAF was 10th with 80 for the month overall.
In Heavy Duty a total of 1,481 trucks were registered in December, 215 units or 17 per cent, ahead of the same month in 2021 to round out a final quarter, which with 4,379 trucks was 484 trucks ahead of the final three months in 2021 and also a record final quarter result for heavy duty, 622 ahead of the same quarter in 2018, which was the previous best.
As mentioned Volvo triumphed over Kenworth in heavy for the third month in a row selling 326 trucks and capturing 22 per cent share to Kenworth’s 281 and 19.1 per cent share, while Isuzu was third with 199 heavies, UD fourth with 114 and Fuso fifth with 90, just ahead of Scania with 86. DAF was seventh on 75, with Mercedes on 65, Mack and Hino on 60 and Freightliner with 41.
HEAVY DUTY SALES
Brand Dec % YTD %
Isuzu was number one in Medium duty, a segment which saw modest growth over the year, with less trucks sold in December 22 than were registered in 2021. Isuzu topped the charts with better than half the market to itself with 358 trucks and 52 per cent share, more than double that of rival Hino which sold 160 trucks for 23.3 per cent share. Fuso was third with 114 trucks registered and 16.6 per cent share. No other brand made three figures, with UD next best with 22 trucks and 3.2 per cent share.
Brand Dec % YTD %
A total of 688 medium duty trucks were registered in December, 46 less that the same month in 2021, which was a 6.3 per cent drop, and largely can be attributed to the supply chain issues afflicting several brands but most particularly Hino. A total of 7850 medium duty trucks were registered for the year which was up on 2021 but well down on the 9923 truck peak back in 2007.
In Light Duty however, it was a record month and a record year. The sector set a new yearly record of 16044 trucks for the sector in 2022, up 1690 units on the previous record in 2021, along with a new record December monthly result, with 1,393 deliveries for the month, up 15.8 percent or 190 truck on the previous record set in December 2021.
Isuzu again set the pace with 693 light duty sales in December and 49.7 per cent share, compared to the 308 trucks registered by Fuso which had 22.1 per cent share and Hino. On 175 medium duty models for 12.6 per cent share. Iveco was next best with a healthy 98 of its Daily cab chassis trucks registered, Fiat with 49, Mercedes on 34and Renault on 16.
Brand Dec % YTD %
Mercedes Benz topped the month and the year with its Sprinter in the van sector selling 27 units for 49.5 per cent share in December, way ahead of Renault with 82 units and 14.9 per cent share, while VW Crafter was third best with 79 sales and 14.4 per cent share.
The Van Segment struggled for most to the year in 2022, when compared to the record sales achieved in 2021. By year end just 5,519 Vans above 3.5t GVM were sold in Australia, down a 17.1 per cent or 1,142 Vans over the previous year’s result of 6,661 sales.
December saw stronger than average 2022 sales for the van segment with 550 vehicles delivered, well up on December 2021 sales by 69.2 per cent or 225 vans.
Brand Dec % YTD %
Tony McMullan the CEO the peak industry body, the Truck Industry Council. Said the results were pleasing for the finish in 2022 with the new all-time sales record eclipsing the previous peak set in 2018.
“It was equally pleasing to see that new truck and van sales broke through the 40,000 mark for just the third time ever, with the final figure of 44,379 sales, surpassing industry expectations,” said McMullan.
“Heavy and Light trucks set new, whole of year, sale records with both segments showing no signs of slowing growth over the twelve months of 2022,” he added.
“If there is a concern to be taken from the numbers in 2022, it is the slowing of sales in the van segment, highlighting how global unrest/supply chain issues, can significantly impact the Australian market,” McMullan added.
“TIC and our members, remain concerned that current heavy vehicle orders taken under the COVID instant asset write-off tax incentive, can be fulfilled in the first half of 2023 due to these ongoing global disruptions,” he emphasised.
“TIC again calls upon the federal government to extend the deliver timeline for this incentive program, for all current heavy vehicle orders.” McMullan concluded.