Truck sales continued to surge in February with another near record performance, registering 2872 sales for the shortened month, which was 119 trucks behind February in the all-time record year of 2018, but 103 trucks ahead of February last year according to the Truck Industry Council’s T-Mark figures.
To put that in perspective, you must understand that in 2018 supply was plentiful and truck makers could get as many units as the market was demanding. This year however, supply is at a premium and shortages of components, logistics and transport issues and other challenges are constraining the number of trucks sales networks can get their hands on.
For all of that, to have achieved the numbers it did, the industry as a whole is booming.
T&B News understands from speaking to a number of truck makers, that wholesale numbers for February, which won’t be reflected in retail/registration numbers for a few months, were either at record levels or very close to them, with one brand telling us that they broke their February wholesale record three days before the end of the month.
Most brands, particularly the Japanese makers, are reporting that order books are also full through most of the rest of the year and into 2023.
With that background, Isuzu knocked things out of the park last month recording a record number of retail registrations for a February, with 771 sales and 26.8 per cent market share. Isuzu continues into a 34th year of market dominance as overall market leader in Australia and already after two months it is 203 units ahead of the same time in 2018, and 179 units ahead of the YTD at the end of February last year.
Although Isuzu has had a startlingly strong start to 2022, its two Japanese opponents, Hino and Fuso have not exactly languished, with both also recording strong sales, well ahead of both the result in 2018 and last year.
Hino in number two sold 492 trucks in February, taking 17.1 per cent market share, while Fuso captured 13.8 per cent share of the market with 388 sales for the month.
Between them the three Japanese brands hold 56.9 per cent overall share of the market, leaving the other 26 or so brands to carve up the remaining 43.1 per cent of the market.
In fourth overall, and again leading the heavy duty charge Kenworth blasted out 226 trucks in February, also well ahead of last year and February in 2018. The Paccar flagship beat its February ‘21 total by 63 units and its February ‘18 tally by 50 units.
Despite even more difficult supply issues than other sectors Heavy Duty produced an outstanding result in February moving 1029 units, a figure that is believed to be a record February result for the sector. The Heavy Duty result in fact was 224 trucks ahead of the same month in last year and 56 ahead of the February 2018 result.
Isuzu took second in heavy duty with 177 units, 68 trucks ahead of the same month last year, while Volvo was third with 161 trucks, well ahead of the cluster of Mercedes-Benz (58 trucks), UD ( 55), Scania (53) and Mack (52), while Hino (48), Fuso (46) and DAF, which with a bit of a dip on its recent monthly results rounded out the top ten with 39 trucks in February.
Freightliner cited issues with supply not only in securing units from a constrained production in the USA, but also with massive delays in shipping and the loss of slots, as it sold 32 trucks for the month, but still finished ahead of MAN on 29, Western Star on 26 and Iveco with 22.
Denis Eagle sold just two trucks while International continues to sell the dribs and drabs of trucks left in dealer stocks after it exited the market, selling one truck in February, an identical result to Korean maker Hyundai with one of its heavy duty Xcient models hitting the road.
For the year to date at the end of February, the overall Heavy Duty sales numbers are at 1767, which is 38 units ahead of the same time in 2018 and a massive 367 tucks ahead of the same point last year.
In Medium Duty there were a total of 544 trucks sold in February with Isuzu taking 45.87 per cent of the market with 248 trucks in the month, while Hino sold 172 trucks for 31.6 per cent market share, with Fuso in third with 102 sales and 18.8 per cent share. Between them the three Japanese brands accounted for a startling 96.2 percent of the medium market, with no other brand even breaking into double figures, with Iveco the next best in fourth with just seven trucks.
Behind that, Volvo sold six mediums, Mercedes-Benz and UD both with three, while Hyundai and DAF also moved one truck each in the sector.
An interesting first time addition to the sales charts is Melbourne based electric start up, SEA Electric, which registered a single medium duty sale in February.
Light duty saw an exceptional result with 1023 trucks sold in February, 87 trucks ahead of the February 2018 result and 12 ahead of the same month last year.
Naturally Isuzu led the market, but despite selling more than its opponents with 346 sales, it was actually behind its 2018 and 2021 monthly result. Last year Isuzu moved 400 light duty in February and in 2018 it sold 365 units. Hino had a very strong result selling 272 light duty trucks, up from the 251 it sold in the same month last year and 207 in 2018.
Fuso took third, also with a strong result, selling 240 light duty up from 176 last year and 181 in 2018. Again the three Japanese brands dominated the sector, holding a combined 83.3 per cent share, with no other brands scoring three figures.
Iveco was the next best with 62 trucks, ahead of Fiat with 43 and Hyundai with 20, one of the best months yet for the Korean brand. Mercedes managed just 16 of its Sprinter based light trucks.
In the van sector Mercedes did better with the Sprinter, leading the sector with 98 units, with Renault selling 90 of its Master vans, Ford with 24 Transits, then Iveco and Fiat with 22 each and Volkswagen with 20 Crafters.
All in all a very promising and inspiring result for the commercial vehicle industry and one which should give some optimism and hope in uncertain times, so long as supply can be maintained.