The Australian truck market got off to a sluggish start in January with sales well down on the past couple of first month sales results.

The market saw 2703 trucks sold in January, down from the 2758 sold in the same month in 2023, a 1.9 per cent  drop year on year.

Despite both Heavy Duty and Medium Duty sectors being slightly up, Light Duty was down  almost 20 per cent  on January last year, with just 823 small trucks being registered for the month down from the 1028 sold last year.

Isuzu was head and shoulders ahead of the rest in terms of overall numbers   taking 28 per cent of the market with 758 registrations, down from the 900 it sold in January 2023. Isuzu’s results shaded all  of its opponents, with its nearest rival being Hino, which captured 9.8 per cent of the overall truck sales with 265 registrations. Hino managed to just pip Fuso by just one truck which scored 265 registrations in January.

The battle for Heavy Duty dominance, which  saw Kenworth rule the roost again in 2023, saw Volvo come out the winner in January by a narrow margin of just five trucks over Kenworth, 179  against 174 trucks for the month. Mercedes Benz was sixth in the market overall with a total of 103 trucks sold for the month. Iveco was seventh overall on 88 units, Scania eighth on 86 trucks, Mack on 61, while DAF rounded out the top ten with 49 regos in January.

Behind Volvo and Kenworth in Heavy, Isuzu sat third in the only sector it didn’t win, after delivering 130 Heavy duty models while Scania was next best on 86, Mack on 61, Mercedes selling 59, with its stablemate Fuso moving 58 Heavies, while DAF on 49 and UD on 44 recos  rounded out the top ten in the sector in January.

Isuzu Was dominant in medium duty holding 55.2 per cent of the sector with its swag of 243 registrations in January, well ahead of second placed Hino with 135 trucks and 30.7 per cent of the segment, while Fuso had a particularly dismal month with just 38 medium duty registrations in third place with 8.6 per cent of the sector. Behind the dominant Japanese  every other brand was in single figures, with Iveco selling six Eurocargos, Hyundai with five, DAF with four, Mercedes, SEA Electric, MAN and UD all with two medium duty registrations, while Freightliner scored a rare sale in medium duty with just one truck registered.

The fact that Light Duty took such a hit was reflected in sales across all brand in the sector, with perennial number one Isuzu selling 385 light duty models, down 27 per cent on the 528 trucks it sold in January 2023. Isuzu still captured 46.8 per cent of the light duty sector compared with next best Fuso with 168 regos and 20.4 per cent of the sector. Fuso absolutely swamped Japanese rival Hino in the light sector, with the Toyota owned brand only selling 101 units in January for 12.3 per cent share.

Iveco was the net best in Lights with 62 sales, just ahead of Mercedes with 42, Fiat with 40, Hyundai with 14, Foton Mobility with five light duty electrics, with Renault on four and VW and Ford both with one light duty truck each for  the month.

In vans Mercedes again dominated with 154  Sprinter vans registered and 31.3 per cent share of the sector, well ahead of Renault with 108 Master vans with Ford moving 94 Transit vans to be ahead of VW with 87 Crafter vans, while Fiat sold 31 to totally shade  its siblings from Iveco which only registered 18 of its Dailys.

The slow start may be the result of a hangover from last year’s record result after brands threw everything but the kitchen sink at the market in December. However it may also reflect a downturn with the economy starting to slow. Only time will tell which scenario is the correct one.