Australia’s truck and heavy van sales have slipped behind the record line for the first time this year and are just behind the tally for this time last year.

The numbers are the first sign that the economic headwinds hitting the  rest of the economy are having an effect on the truck market.

A total of 5160  trucks and vans were delivered in Australia in June, down 894 units or 14.7 per cent on the same month in 2023, while the year to date total for 2024 is sitting on 24075 units, which is 320 deliveries or 1.3 per cent off  the end of June total for last year which stood at 24,395.

Despite the slight drop in sales momentum there were still some strong performances across the charts  with Isuzu dominating the overall market as well as leading light and medium duty sales, while the battle for heavy duty supremacy slid further towards incumbent Kenworth with a strong lead over its Swedish rival Volvo.

Isuzu sold a total of 1364 trucks in June, a drop of 230 units on its result in the same month last year. The market leader took 26.4 per cent of the overall market, trumping nearest rival Hino with 568 sales and 11 per cent share for the month. Fuso was third overall with 453 deliveries and  8.8 per cent market share.

Kenworth  was fourth overall with a bumper 409 deliveries, all of them  in heavy duty while Iveco edged out Volvo for fifth with 273 units to the Swedish brands 272 deliveries. In fairness the majority of Iveco’s sales were with its Daily light duty models, with just 45 heavies and 25 mediums in its mix.

Mercedes-Benz clinched seventh in overall sales with 195 units, ahead of Scania with 164 in eighth, with Volvo owned brands UD in ninth with 103 sales and stablemate Mack in tenth with  another strong performance registering 102 trucks.

Kenworth’s 409 sales  was a very strong performance in heavy duty to give it the win for June over rival Volvo which registered 266 heavy variants for the month, the other seven sales it registered being for medium duty.

The result means that Kenworth has closed the gap to Volvo in the race for heavy duty market leadership. At the end of May Volvo had a 172 truck lead on Kenworth, but the Paccar brand has narrowed the gap to just 35 units at the end of June with six months to play.

Isuzu came within 12 units of beating Volvo for second in heavy duty sales, with the Japanese brand registering 254 units in the top segment. Behind Scania had another impressive month with 164 heavies, while Mercedes registered 125, Mack 102, Hino 98, UD 91 and Fuso 86 in the segment. DAF rounded out the top ten with 71 heavy duty deliveries.

Overall heavy duty sales were down 478 units or around 20 per cent on  the June result in 2023, signalling a solid stab on the brakes for heavy duty sales.

In Medium duty Isuzu ruled the roost with 424 sales in the sector in June for a dominant 47.8 market share. Hino was second with 249 deliveries while Fuso scored 130 sales for the month. Al three leading Japanese brands were down on their June 2023 sales, with Isuzu off 52 units, Hino down 90 units and Fuso off 54 trucks on the performance this time last year.

Iveco was next best in mediums with 25 Eurocargo sales, beating out  the improving Hyundai which registered 19 of its medium duty Pavise models hitting Australian roads in June. Behind that  the numbers were scarcely in double figures with UD registering 12 mediums, Mercedes with 11, while MAN scored seven sales,  Volvo six and DAF just four.

In the tiddler class with light duty Isuzu outsold its nearest rival Fuso by almost three to one, with  the market leader moving 686 light duty N Series for a 45.5 per cent slice of the sector. Fuso again outsold Hino in the light segment  with 273 sales and 15.7 per cent share, to Hino’s 221 lights and 14.6 per cent market share.

The surprise packet in the light sector was Iveco with its performance taking it within 18 units of stealing  the final podium step off Hino. Iveco sold 203 Daily based light duty models  and claimed 13.5  per cent of the market.

The rest of the light segment was mainly a playground for the European van based light truck products with Mercedes next best in the sector with 59 sales while Fiat registered 41 and Ford 19 light trucks.

The only other exceptions in the sector were Hyundai with 17 units, Renault with 10 and Foton Mobility with nine of its battery electric machines.

The light duty sector was down a whopping 525 units  or 25.8 per cent on the same momth in 2023, again underlining  the slowing  that  has overtaken the market.

In heavy vans Mercedes-Benz  dominated with 338 units registered in June for 35.7 per cent share of the segment. Renault  was second in vans with 229 Masters sold, while Ford’s 201 Transits placed it third in the sector, well ahead of  the 68 Crafters VW managed to move, 63 Iveco Dailys and 49 Fiat Ducatos.

With sales slipping just a touch of nervousness has overtaken the market with this the first softening in the past three years. Pundits will be watching interest rates and the inflation numbers to see if the softening has some ongoing affect.