Heavy-duty continues to dominate truck sales

Sales of heavy-duty trucks are continuing to far outweigh the sales volumes of light and medium-duty models in the Australian market according to figures supplied by the Truck Industry Council.

Kenworth. Still a comfortable leader of the heavy-duty sector.

Figures for the year up to the end of October show that almost 25,000 vehicles with a gross weight rating above 3.5 tonnes were delivered to the market, with the heavy-duty sector – above 16 tonnes gross weight – accounting for 9131 units.

Next most prolific segment was light-duty with 7303 units delivered for the year up to the end of October, with the medium-duty category contributing just 5543 units to the total volume. Light-duty vans with gross weight ratings of 3.5 tonnes or more accounted for 3001 deliveries.

Continuing to dominate the heavy-duty sector is Kenworth, with a formidable 20.9 percent of the category up to the end of October.

Second place also continues to go to Volvo with 12.2 percent.

Perhaps the most consistently surprising performer of all is Western Star. Despite a limited model range and no cab-over contender, Star picked up 9.1 percent of the heavy-duty sector up to the end of October.
Some observers are predicting Western Star’s performance will improve even further early next year when its upcoming 4700 model – a truck aimed squarely at the concrete agitator and construction markets – hits the market early in 2013.

Lesser placegetters are Mack on 8.6 percent, Isuzu on 8.4, Iveco on 7.2 and Freightliner on a disappointing 6.8 percent. Freightliner’s figures are, however, expected to jump a few notches with improved supply from the US and the imminent availability of the short-snouted Coronado 114 model.

Of the corporate collectives, Paccar’s Kenworth and DAF lead with a combined 23.4 percent of the heavy-duty business, followed by the Volvo, Mack and UD tripartite on 22 percent, and Daimler’s Freightliner, Mercedes-Benz and Fuso threesome on just 13.1 percent.

However, as Daimler disciples like to point out, if Western Star’s numbers are added, the overall corporate stake blossoms to a much more appealing 22.2 percent.

In the light and medium-duty sectors, overall market leader Isuzu has unassailable leads, holding 43.4 percent of the medium market and 38.7 percent of light-duty.

In both categories, its nearest competitor is Hino although in the light-duty segment, Fuso continues to snap at Hino’s heels for second spot.

Most industry watchers are expecting 2012 to go down as a reasonable year for truck sales, but obviously well shy of the boom times of 2007 and 2008.