Truck sales cooled a little in February when compared with the same month last year with total volume off about 5.7 per cent year on year with 2827 trucks sold for the second calendar month off 174 units on last year.
Year to date the market is off the first two months of 2018 by 3.9 per cent with the total at 5023 down 205 trucks on last year’s tally for the first two months, which was running at 5228 after the opening two months of 2018.
Before panic sets in it must be noted that it seems supply may be a factor in the sales slip as most of the makers have pretty full order books and traditionally there is always bit of a rain shadow behind a successful record breaking year like 2018.
Isuzu had a relatively big drop in numbers down 74 trucks or 10 per cent on last year’s February tally with the market leader selling 638 trucks and taking 22.7 per cent of the total market.
Isuzu’s drop saw second place rival Hino pick up a percentage point of market share selling 434 trucks for the month, one of the few top selling brands to sell more vehicles than the same month last year. Hino was up 1.6 per cent on February last year and took 15.3 per cent market share for the month. This time last year Isuzu had a 23.7 per cent share and Hino 14.2 per cent but analysts would be cautious about predicting any trends on a single month’s results.
Hino is pointing to its new Standard Cab 500 as the main reason for its improvement at the expense of its opponents.
Fuso was third with 259 sales dropping 34 units on the same month last year as well as dropping a small amount of market share.
Kenworth sailed on oblivious to the drops around it, up 6.2 per cent on February last year and again leading the heavy-duty sector with 187 sales 11 more than last February.
Biggest improver was Iveco which stormed from 106 sales this time last year to post 176 sales last month, an improvement of 66 per cent on its 2018 result to be fourth overall just behind Kenworth and in front of Volvo. Even International, which has failed to dazzle since Iveco started distributing the brand again two years ago, scored 12 sales, a 200 per cent improvement on its 2018 February result of four trucks.
Volvo was down 9.6 per cent on the same month last year selling 141 trucks a drop of 15 units marking a slow month for all its brands. Mack was down two trucks on its 2018 February tally while UD dropped from 58 sales last year to 38 this February.
Over at Daimler Benz was a bright spot up 21 trucks on its 2018 monthly tally selling 136 trucks for the month, but both Fuso as previously mentioned and Freightliner sales down six units or 20 per cent on last year with just 24 sales for the month.
Penske sold one more Western Star than it did in February last month with 27 sales while MAN was down 30 units, a drop of 24.2 per cent on its performance in February last year, however its sales performance is closely linked with Australian Army contract fulfilments.
A lot will hinge on where sales head in the next three to four months to see where the market is headed.