Light duty again proved the best performed sector in new truck sales during May

For a country whose economy is supposed to be enduring uncertain times the signs that Australia is in pretty good fiscal health keep rolling.

With strong trade deficit, economic growth and employment figures in recent weeks the truck sales figures for May have also revealed some strong figures.

For the first time this year the month of May revealed that all heavy vehicle segments had outperformed the figures for May last year, while year-to-date three of the four segments are ahead of sales recorded in the first five months of 2015.

Heavy vehicle sales for the month of May totalled 2,828 units, up 5.21 per cent over May last year and up 3.7 per cent on the opening five months of 2015.

It was the mid and bottom end of the truck market that again drove the overall result. However the Heavy Duty truck segment was also up in May, the second month in succession it has registered positive growth compared with the corresponding months last year.

All up 808 HD trucks units were delivered in May, up 1.9 per cent, or 15 trucks, on May 2015 while year-to-date the Heavy sales are down 3.1 per cent or 112 units over the same period in 2015.

Medium Duty again posted solid sales with 616 trucks moved in the month, a 4.4 per cent or 26 unit gain over May 2015. Results over the first five months of 2016 see Medium Duty up 5.3 per cent or 128 units on the same period last year.

Down in the light end of the market the good growth seen so far this year has continued with a rise of 9.6 per cent or 79 trucks over May 2015. LD sales for the month totalled 901 units putting the sector 388 units or 11 per cent ahead of the tallies for the first five months of 2015.

Light Duty Van segment rallied in May after being slightly off in March and April. LD Vans posted a total of 503 sales, up 4.1 per cent, or 20 vans, compared with May 2015.  The year-to-date tally now stands at 2,213 light van sales, up just 1.3 per cent or 28 vans compared with 2015.

Truck Industry Council president, Phil Taylor said the solid May result build on the encouraging sales seen so far in the first part of 2016.

“However as we have seen for much of the year to date, it is the Light and Medium segments that are boosting this year’s figures, while Van sales are similar to those of 2015 and the Heavy Truck segment still lags last year despite a slight comeback in March and April,” said Taylor.

CEO of TIC Tony McMullan said his concern is that the sales results for the next couple of months may reflect a “wait and see” position by truck operators wanting to see the result of the pending federal election before committing to new truck purchases.

“If this happens we may lose the momentum that has been building over the past couple of months. Hopefully that will not eventuate, ” McMullan concluded.

Given the sales figures have confounded industry experts int eh same way many of the economies fundamentals have so far this year Truck and Bus News reckons we might just have to wait and see if the potential doom and gloom predicted by TIC comes fruition or if the strength shown so far continues on unabated.