The Australian truck market is continuing to go from strength to strength with yet another record month in March, which saw total sales of 4174 commercial vehicles for the month, 10 per cent ahead of the same month in 2022.
That result puts the Year to date tally 1641 units or 18.6 per cent ahead of the same time last year, as strong order books and continuing demand drives truck and van sales to new highs.
Isuzu again led the way with total sales of 1256 units taking 30.1 per cent of the total market finishing ahead of a revived Hino in second with 532 sales and 12.7 per cent shares, while Fuso slipped back to third after several months ahead of Hino, selling 465 trucks for 11.1 per cent market share.
Volvo and Kenworth continue to battle for the lead in the heavy segment with the pair finishing March separated by just eight units for the month and only three units year to date. Volvo won the month both outright and in heavy duty with total sales of 308 units and 305 heavy trucks. Kenworth sold a total of 300 trucks in March, all of them heavy duty and that result sees the perennial heavy duty leader just three units ahead of Volvo for the year to date, almost certainly ensuring a ding dong fight for supremacy over the next nine months.
Iveco was sixth in the overall tally for March with 155 units, while Mercedes finished in seventh with 147 units, Scania eighth with 93 trucks, while Volvo Group siblings Mack and UD both registered 88 sales for the month to round out the top ten.
As mentioned the battle for heavy is line ball between Volvo and Kenworth with Volvo clearly reaping the benefits of added stock from its Saudi plant, to fulfill the strong demand. The pair held over 40 per cent of the heavy segment with Volvo taking 21.1 per cent for March while Kenworth held 20.7 per cent.
Behind them Isuzu was the best of the rest with 192 heavy sales ad 13.3 per cent share, while Scania was fourth with 93 sales and 6.4 per cent share. Mercedes and Mack shared fifth with 88 truck sales, followed by Hino with 84, UD with 74, DAF 65, Fuso on 60 and then Freightliner on 27, Iveco 25, MAN 24 and Western Star with 15.
Isuzu captured 50.7 per cent of the medium duty segment with 368 trucks in March, more than double Hino with 178 and 24.5 per cent share, while Fuso sold 134 trucks for 18.5 per cent share. Iveco sold 15 Eurocargos to be next best, one ahead of UD with 14 and Hyundai with eight trucks, leading a gaggle of single figure sales for the rest.
It was much the same in Light Duty where Isuzu also dominated with 696 sales and 46.1 per cent share. Behind that Fuso edged Hino by just one unit with 271 sales and 17.9 per cent share, as Hino sold 270 light duty, making it so close the pair shared the same market share percentage, at least to one decimal point.
Iveco continues its strong reliance on the Daily light duty truck chassis moving 115 of them to take fourth in the segment, ahead of Fiat with 58 Ducatos, Mercedes with 56 Sprinters, Hyundai which sold 21 Mightys and VW which sold 14 Crafter truck chassis.
In vans Mercedes was the segment leader again with 216 Sprinters sold in March, to lead VW with 1476 Crafters, Fiat with 46 Ducatos, Iveco with 38 Dailys while Renault sold 30 Master vans and Ford 14 Transits.
While some are wondering if the rising interest rates will dampen demand over the next few months, other pundits and executives believe the still strong and full order books will carry the market to another record year. Only time will tell which view will prove to be correct.