Some might think our economy is headed for stormy waters but if truck sales figures are anything to go by, the hard times aren’t here quite yet with another strong sales performance for the truck industry in August.
Light truck sales were up almost 17 per cent, admittedly off a mediocre July performance but up all the same, while medium duty sales registered a three per cent gain month on month.
In fact August saw both market reach segments to year-to-date highs compared to 2015.
Heavy duty truck sales were off just one per cent, which some within the Truck Industry Council might view as catastrophic but in reality the numbers are small in volume terms. August heavy duty sales totaled 836 trucks, which means that heavy duty sales were down just eight units on July.
Year to date, compared with the first eight months of 2015 the heavy market is off 216 units or 3.4 per cent.
However the reality is the truck market is up 2.8 per cent, or 565 units overall on the first eight months of 2015 by.
Light duty vans were also cause for some consternation on the part of TIC. However while the light van sector was down 12.6 per cent this represents a drop of just 59 units, hardly worth turning the alarm bells on for. A total of 410 light vans were sold in Australia in August.
Medium-duty truck sales were a highlight with 633 units sold in August up 3.4 per cent or 21 units on while year to date the segment is up by 6.2 per cent or 265 trucks on the 2015 figures.
The Light-duty sector continues to be the star performer recording sales of 939 units in August, an increase of 16.8 percent or 135 trucks over the corresponding month last year.
Year-to-date light duty sales total 6814 till the end of August a 9.9 per cent increase on the first eight months of 2015.
TIC President, Phil Taylor from truck maker Isuzu, said the August results were pleasing given the rebound from the slow July industry sales.
“It was pleasing to see that sales in most segments rebounded and it was a particularly strong month for Light and Medium Duty truck sales but Heavy sales remain a concern for all TIC Members,” said Phil Taylor.
Tony McMullan, TIC’s CEO, said it was back to business in August with all segments performing along the trend lines we have seen year to date in 2016.
“However, I remain concerned about the continuing poor sales at the heavy end of the market, because I am only too aware of the negative effects that an aging heavy truck fleet will have on our country’s future road transport productivity, coupled with less than ideal environmental, health and safety outcomes.”
It strikes us here at Truck and Bus News that the concern over Heavy Duty sales is a little misguided given more and more B Doubles and efficient PBS compliant vehicles are carrying higher loads per truck, so that even with a rising freight task in heavy duty at least can be carried with less and lets face it a drop of eight trucks is significant but as we say hardly a catastrophe.