The sales race for supremacy in the prestigious Heavy Truck sector of the Australian market looks like it might go down to the wire after another strong performance from perennial market leader Kenworth.
The team at Paccar have staged a big comeback in the past two months after Volvo had built a lead of 101 units on Kenworth at the end of July, but had that cut to a 53 truck lead in August and finds itself just three trucks ahead of its year to date tally at the end of September.
Kenworth turned in another strong sales result for the month with 195 heavy sales, 49 units ahead of its Swedish rival after factory shutdowns and supply issues during the early part of Covid clearly skewed the overall sales result. Isuzu was third in heavy with 92 units, ahead of Scania with 80, Mercedes with 58, Mack 55 and Hino and UD both on 409 heavy sales.
Isuzu led the market overall, as it has done for the last 31 years with 661 sales and 23.1 per cent of the market to lead Hino with 398 sales and 13.9 per cent of the overall market and Fuso with 318 sales and 11.1 per cent market share. Kenworth was fourth overall ahead of arch rival Volvo in fifth (155 units overall thanks to six medium duty sales adding to its 146 Heavies).
Hino continues to challenge Isuzu in Medium Duty with the pair much closer in this sector than any other part of the market. Isuzu led with 212 sales or 41 per cent share for September, while Hino moved 167 units for 32.3 per cent share. Fuso sold 91 mediums for 17.6 per cent share, while Iveco was next best with 21 units and UD fifth on 15 trucks for the month.
Between them, the three Japanese brands hold just over 8o per cent of the Light Duty market, with Isuzu holding 39.4 per cent in September thanks to its 357 light sales while rival Hino took 188 sales and 20.7 per cent share and Fuso finished just one truck shy with 187 for the month and 20.6 per cent share
Overall the Heavy Duty truck segment overall is down 21.9 per cent or 2,080 trucks on the year to date sales for the same period in 2019, but all things considered with the Covid crisis and other factors the industry should be reasonably pleased with that result. So far this year 7,427 Heavy trucks have been sold while in the month of September, heavy sales were down only 14.9 per cent or 159 trucks on the same month in 2019. That is a four year low but given 20918 was an all time record and both 2017 and 2019 were strong, it could be much worse.
In Medium Duty segment the year to date market is down 14.8 per cent or 837 trucks on the same nine months last year and down 16.8 per cent or 105 trucks for the month of September with 577 medium duty sales compared to 623 in September 2019.
Dare we say there was a glimmer of hope in the Light Duty sector with sales year to date running at 8000 units for the first nine month which is only down 6.6 per cent on 2019 while the September monthly result saw 907 light duty trucks delivered, down 79 units or eight per cent on the same month in 2019.
The 3.5 to 8 tonne Van segment has been the least effected in 2020, and September saw van sales up 6.2 per cent or 31 vans over September 2019 with a total of 529 units were delivered for the month,.