The Australian truck market continued to slow in March, a situation partly affected by the Codiv 19 crisis, with overall figures down 18.2 per cent on March 2019.

The true effect of the crisis is yet to be felt with the lockdowns only starting to take effect in the second half of March with the major restrictions coming in during the final week. April is likely to see an even bigger slow down.

For all of that, sales battles raged across the various commercial market sectors with both light and medium duty sectors volumes up marginally on February.

Isuzu, of course, continued as number one overall with a 24.6 per cent share of the total market with 640 trucks for the month, while Japanese rival Hino claimed 15.9 per cent with 414 trucks delivered in March. Fuso was third overall with 244 units and 9.4 per cent share.

The most intense fight again was in the Heavy Duty category, where long time market leader Kenworth grabbed a small edge on rival Volvo, following the Swede’s HD sales victory in February. Kenworth finished March top of the Heavy heap with 6.1 per cent share, ten units ahead of its Swedish rival and took its lead for the year to date out to 22 trucks in the sector.

Kenworth was also fourth in the overall market and Volvo fifth, with Mercedes rounding out the top six, thanks to a solid performance across all sectors.

Isuzu with 98 units, finished third in the Heavies ahead of a much improved Mercecdes Benz in fourth on 84 deliveries, Mack was on 69 units and Scania rounded out the top six on 61 trucks.

Amongst the other notable performances, Hino was up 10 trucks with 44 sales, ahead of Paccar’s recently revised DAF line up, which saw the Euro brand deliver 42 trucks in March.

Medium duty again saw a close tussle, with Isuzu finishing on top with 39.9 per cent of the sector with 210 deliveries, 18 trucks ahead of Hino, which continues to perform well against its long time adversary, delivering 192 trucks for 36.5 per cent share. Fuso increased volume and share over February delivering 83 trucks in March and taking 15.8 per cent of the medium sector. As mentioned, even though the total truck market was down, overall Medium duty sales were up 10 per cent or 48 units on February’s results, while total Light duty sales were up 8.1 per cent month on month.

Isuzu maintained its huge 40.9 per cent share of the light duty market delivering  332 trucks in March ahead of Hino’s 178 deliveries (21.9 per cent share) and Fuso 135 deliveries (16.6 per cent). Isuzu was up 27 units on its February result, Hino up 22 units and Fuso sold one more than the previous month.

The van market was off 29 units for the month compared with February, delivering 416 vans in March, Mercedes continuing its domination with 45.7 per cent of the van sector with 190 deliveries, ahead of Ford with 94 units and VW with 54.

Given all of the restrictions and problems that we face as a result of the crisis, it may be that we look back on March 2020 as the last ray of light in a drastically falling market that is sure to drop significantly in coming months.