Deals Data: Truck sales slow

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New truck sales dipped in April, but were still the third-best April on record

Deals Data Fuso new truck sales image.jpg

Sales of vehicles above 3,500kg gross vehicle mass (GVM) stumbled in April, confirming "the heavy vehicle market is showing clear signs of slowing in 2019", the Truck Industry Council (TIC) says.

Despite that, TIC notes the 2,943 units – down on March’s 3,296 but up on February’s 2,826 – were still the third-best result for the month of April on record, after April 2018 (3,151) and April 2008 (3,076), just before Australia was hit by the effects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Year-to-date sales are down just 3 per cent (on an all-time record year), with 11,261 units sold in 2019 compared with last year’s 11,826 and 2017’s 9,675.

The heavy-duty segment mirrors the market, with 1,006 units sold in April, down from 1,186 in March but up on 963 in February. Year to date, it’s at 3,922 compared with last year’s 4,059 and 2017’s 2,867.

Segment leaders Kenworth (174), Volvo (140) and Isuzu (113) were all a tad down on their February marks, while next placed Scania held on to three figures, at 104, a long way ahead of February’s 72.

Mercedes-Benz suffered the biggest fall, coming in at 56 from March’s 114 and February’s 101, while Hino, DAF and MAN grew sales steadily to land above the 50 mark last month at 58, 56 and 50 respectively.

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In the medium-duty category sales came in at 595, down on March’s 663 and February’s 674, with YTD at 2,245, down on last year’s 2,442 but up on 2017’s 1,941.

Isuzu made every post a winner at 247, up from 244 and 190 respectively in the previous two months, while Hino was relatively steady (183, 186 and 174) but Fuso was down 51 units from March at 85.

The charge of the light-duty brigade, so stirring for so long, also seems to have run out of a little puff.

Total sales for April, at 839, failed to top February’s 874 – though were better than April 2017’s 813. YTD sales, at 3,245, are 250 units down on this time last year and, again, not far off 2017’s 3,147.

Hino slipped out of the 200s for the months at 171 while Fuso repeated February’s 155, down from March’s 184.

But there were a couple of surprise moves, led by Iveco, which nearly doubled the 58 and 57 in the previous two months to burst into three figures with 107.

TIC CEO Tony McMullan acknowledges that what has been a strong new truck market for two years now, had to eventually slow.

"What is unclear at this stage is if this is merely a market stumble and something that can be attributed to the usual economic uncertainty that always occurs in the lead-up to a federal election. Or whether this is a longer-term market slow down caused by broader economic realities," he says.


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