The most recent truck sales released, the Truck Industry Council T-Mark report, gives us a mixed message about where the economy, the trucking industry in general and the truck market are all going. While some indicators are up, others are down. The overall numbers remain similar to those achieved in 2013.
Overall, 17,015 trucks over 4.5 tonnes GVM have been sold on the Australian market until the end of July. This is 600 fewer than at the same time last year. Among the major brands, some have shown substantial improvement over last July’s numbers, while others have dropped considerably. This may be due to large contracts moving through the system and the year-end figures may give us a clearer picture.
Looking at the heavy duty market segment, the big winners, so far this year are Isuzu, Mack and Scania. Isuzu’s higher figure almost certainly comes from the continuing success of the eight wheeler range it introduced early last year, the figures are starting to flow though now. For Scania, an increased emphasis on fleet sales, has seen its market share rise with a couple of fleet deals done.
The long term decline in medium duty truck sales seems to have halted, for one month at least, with the release of the July results. July 2014 was up on 2013 and the overall number for the year, at 3,619 is now catching up with last year’s overall results. If there is a trend between the brands it looks like Hino, in second place, are losing market share both to Isuzu, in number one slot, and Fuso, running third.
Looking at the light duty truck sales figures the opposite is true. Hino, number two, seem to be clawing back market share from both Isuzu, number one, and Fuso, number three. Overall, the sales numbers are down from 2013 but the result in July did arrest the fall somewhat with 853 light duty trucks sold compared with 735 last July.
These mixed fortunes tell us pretty much what has been happening in the economy for a couple of years now, namely, the results are different in different industrial sectors. Isuzu’s eight wheeler sales, mainly agitators, suggest construction is moving ahead, but Kenworth’s lower figures may suggest a lowering in the overall activity in the economy, as its trucks dominate in the major linehaul fleets.