2018 has been a phenomenal year for truck sales, with the latest Truck Industry Council figures showing truck sales were punching through the 40K mark for the first time ever. The final figure at the end of December saw a total of 41,628 trucks over 4.5 tonnes GVM sold in Australia last year.
Leading the way was the heavy duty segment with 14,344 sales for the year, another record. Medium duty sales came in at 8,210, but fell short of the 2008 record of 9,609 truck sales for the year. There were 13,129 light duty trucks sold last year, this broke the record set in 2017 of 11,628.
With records falling all over the truck market and with sales much higher than expected at this time last year, 2018 proved to be a bumper year. At the beginning of the year the truck brands were predicting good sales numbers, but were surprised by the strength of the demand. The brands which did the best were the ones who could ramp up available truck numbers quickly
This record year also saw a significant milestone has been reached for the number one truck selling brand in Australia. Isuzu has now sold more trucks than anyone else for thirty years straight. The company also broke the 10K barrier for the first time, selling 10,027 trucks altogether in 2018.
The high sales numbers were spread around all of the competing brands, but the recent trend towards cabover heavy duty prime movers, especially European ones, has seen Volvo, Mercedes Benz, Scania and MAN penetrate further into market share targets.
Although 2019 is expected to be a good year for truck sales, it is unlikely to be able to match the records set in 2018. The federal election in the middle of the year will lead to a hiatus in economic activity for a while in the middle of the year. However, one of the major driving forces in truck sales growth, infrastructure spending, is not going to decrease in the next 12 months, with many major projects still with some time to run.
“It was pleasing to see 2018 finish by setting a new all-time sales record for new truck sales in Australia, finally eclipsing the pre-GFC peak set in 2007,” said Tony McMullan, TIC CEO. “It was equally pleasing to see that new truck and van sales broke through the 40,000 mark for the first time, with the final figure of 41,628 sales, surpassing industry expectations. Heavy and Light Trucks as well as Van sales set new, whole of year, sale records and the Light Truck segment in particular showed no sign of slowing growth over the twelve months of the year.
“If there is a concern to be taken from the numbers in 2018, it is the noticeable slowing of the Heavy and Medium Truck and the Van segments in the final quarter of 2018. This trend and the business confidence uncertainty that always accompanies a Federal Government election points to a receding new truck sales market in 2019. My hope is, that should this eventuate, the drop in sales will be minimal and that the second half of 2019 will see the market in recovery.”