The Government’s $150,000 instant asset write off tax stimulus had a very real and important affect on June truck sales numbers, with a big bounce back following depressed sales in April and May.
However as the financial year drew to a close there are mixed opinions about whether the bounce will continue into July and August, as many businesses brought forward purchases to take advantage of the asset write off. So while some in the industry are breathing a sigh of relief it may be worthwhile to take a deep breath and prepare for a rocky ride in the next few months.
The Truck Industry Council’s T-Mark statistics showed that total commercial sales in June registered at 4,620, just under 2000 vehicles better than the May figure of 2,621, and well ahead of the 2,302 sold in April and 2,605 in March.The June result is amazingly the highest monthly ruck sales for June ever recorded in Australia
Some industry insiders are saying that order books for July and August are looking reasonable, but not at levels that to match the June sales up swing. However October and November are looking a little patchy at this stage, with some hope that the second round of tax write offs in December may deliver a boost as the calendar year ends.
June is normally a strong month but the sales bounce this year was exceptional particularly for some makers. Isuzu was up a massive 64 per cent on its May results to record 1170 sales while Hino recorded its biggest ever monthly sales result in the its 55 year history in Australia, recording 752 sales in June, a 75 per cent increase on its May results. Hino Australia’s result meant it was the second best result for the brand in any export market around the world, bettering the performance of Hino USA and finishing only slightly behind Hino Thailand.
Fuso was third, also with another strong result up 65 per cent or 178 trucks on its May result to record 450 sales.
While the three Japanese market leaders were buoyed by the strong results in light and medium segments the heavy end of the market was still up on May but not quite as effervescent as the lighter end of the industry.
The heavy market sector was up 50 per cent on May, with Volvo again leading long time market leader Kenworth. The Swede’s 210 HD sales in June beat Kenworth by 25 units and it now leads the Paccar brand by 105 units year to date in the battle for the heavy segment, a lead that has continued to open as the year has rolled on, and if the trend continues it may well become an unassailable margin in the next few months.
The total heavy market saw 1134 sales in June with both Volvo and Kenworth being up 55 and 77 units respectively, while Mercedes-Benz had a massive result, selling 122 trucks up 117 per cent or 66 units on its May result, to finish June fourth in heavy, only one unit behind third place Isuzu with 123 sales.
Mack was fifth in Heavy with 82 sales up 5 units on May while Scania was up 26 units to be sixth with 80 units sold.
Isuzu led medium duty but despite a super strong result, up 56 per cent on its May result of 223, to record 348 medium duty sales, it had Hino breathing down its neck with an even more impressive result. Hino finished second only 14 trucks behind Isuzu with 334 for June , up 116 per cent or 180 units on its 154 trucks in May. Third placed Fuso was up 54 per cent from 88 trucks in May to sell 136 trucks in June
Overall medium-duty sales in June were up 74 per cent or 382 from a meagre 515 sales in May to see the segment total 897 for the month.
Light duty had a massive month, not surprising since most light duty models come in under the $150,000 tax write off limit and the demand for small delivery trucks is massive at the moment. The light segment was up 76 per cent or 684 trucks on its June result, to score 1583 sales for the month.
While Hino was close behind Isuzu in Medium, Isuzu was extremely dominant in Light with 699 units, up 84 per cent or 321 trucks on its 378 sales in May. Hino rose 49 per cent or 118 trucks on its May result with 357 sales in June, while third place Fuso was up 57 per cent or 94 units on it May result with 277 sales in June.
It is shaping as an intriguing year for the truck industry and there are sure to be more twists and turns as the year rolls on