Volvo has dealt Kenworth a rare defeat in the Australian heavy vehicle market in February, making good on the promise the Swedish brand showed in the closing months of 2019. That’s the main talking point from the truck sales figures for the month past.
It poses an interesting question as to where Australian truck buying trends are headed, and whether cab overs are taking over from conventional bonneted trucks. However while some may see Volvo’s sales win in February as a signal of a wholesale move to cab overs , the reality is that Kenworth is far from down and out, and is still selling plenty of bonneted machines, while we are still waiting to see the market reaction to Freightliner’s bonneted Cascadia which many pundits believe will shake the market up enormously. Only time will tell.
While Heavy captured the headlines the overall market provided some interesting discussion.
According to the Truck Industry Council’s T Mark sales data a total of 2448 trucks and vans were sold across all sectors in February , that’s down 378 units or 13.3 per cent on February 2019.
While the battle in heavy duty was intense, perpetual market leader Isuzu again restated its dominance of the overall truck sales numbers, claiming a total of 606 sales in February, down 32 units on the same month last year, while Hino moved 364 trucks , down 70 units, with the company citing delays in body builders as the main reason for the large drop in its numbers. Fuso was third overall moving 230 trucks for the month, down 29 units on February last year.
Although Isuzu ruled the overall market, it is the 777 heavy duty sector sales that captured the most attention.
Volvo’s overall market win ahead of Kenworth and Isuzu should not overshadow another great performance from Scania, which sold 88 trucks in February, placing fourth in heavy. Scania keeps getting better and after breaking 1000 sales for the first time in 2019, probably adding to the argument for cab overs.
For the Volvo Group, its UD brand also had a good month in HD while Mack saw its sales down 42 per cent selling just 48 trucks in February, with the brand waiting for the new Anthem models ,which can’t come soon enough for Mack fanciers.
Mercedes Benz had a very disappointing month down 50 per cent or 51 trucks from its February 2019 tally when it moved 101 trucks. MAN also saw a big dip, down 62 per cent on its 2019 result, admittedly off a low base. The German brand moved just 10 trucks last month, 17 less than 2019, the drop most likely due to a tail off in delivery or trucks as part of the Australian army contract, which is nearing fulfillment.
Medium-duty sales for the month were off 12.5 per cent with a total of 478 trucks sold across the sector. Isuzu continues to have rival Hino breathing down its neck, finishing just 13 sales behind the long-time market leader, further unde4rlining Hino’s ‘safety’ strategy success.
Isuzu dominated the 746 sales in light duty with a 40.6 per cent share moving 305 trucks, almost double the numbers Hino registered with its 155 for the month, while Fuso was again close by with 130 sales.