Despite a background of soft retail sector sales results, some parts of the manufacturing sector offering a somewhat bleak outlook and fears for the resources sector, truck sales continue to show modest growth compared with the past four years says the Truck Industry Council (TIC).
The May 2013 total truck market of 2,769 units was 10.0 per cent higher than for May 2012, giving a growth of 5.3 per cent for the year-?to-?date tally.
Keeping with recent trends, 2013 provided Australia’s strongest post-?GFC May result, yet it is still 16.7 per cent below the best May result on record achieved in May 2007. TIC says when comparing the first five months in any given year, 2013’s result of 11,929 deliveries is 18.0 per cent below that achieved in 2008.
After posting minimal growth in April, the Heavy Duty segment resumed its earlier trend of outperforming the rest of the market in May.
It recorded 1,106 deliveries, or a strong 17.2 per cent increase on May 2012. Growth in the HD segment for the year so far is back in double digits, now 10.0 per cent higher when compared with 2012.
Medium Duty truck sales continue to show good growth, with May’s total of 600 units being 5.1 per cent higher than for May 2012.
The Medium Duty segment growth rate for the year is now second to that of the HD segment, with 8.6 per cent growth for January through May.
Light Duty truck sales posted a result just five units higher than for May 2012, for a tally this month of 753 units. 2013’s year-?to-?date result in this segment is catching up with that achieved in 2012, and is now just 20 units behind.
Sales of vans in the Light Duty (LDV) category posted the highest gain for the month compared with May 2012, with 310 units, or 21.6 per cent higher. For the first five months of the year, the LDV segment is now 1.0 per cent ahead of the same period in 2012.
“The continued growth in truck sales we have witnessed in 2013 has been encouraging for TIC members. Low interest rates and an improved credit market have combined to allowed some transport operators to obtain finance to resume renewal of their fleets. However, the usual business uncertainty and lack of capital expenditure leading up to a federal election is a factor to watch out for in the coming months,” says Tony McMullan, CEO of Truck Industry Council.
“It is important to note, despite the current levels of growth in truck sales, the average age of the truck fleet remains close to 14 years, and the overall freight task continues to grow. The nation needs more trucks to keep the economy running, and operators should be encouraged to replace the oldest trucks in their fleets to improve overall levels of productivity, safety and environmental stewardship.”