According to the latest Truck Industry Council (TIC) data the total truck market for January 2013 reached 1,879 units, 10% higher than for the same month in 2012, a result which continues strong results seen in the second half of last year.
Truck sales are still down on the all-?time high achieved in 2007-?08, and there are signs the present strength may taper in coming months.
TIC say truck market conditions tend to lag the general economy by three to four months and housing starts by around six months, so any possible slowdown as predicted by economists for 2013 will not be reflected by a downturn in truck sales for several months yet.
“Compared with the past few years, January 2013 is the strongest post-?GFC result, yet still 16% lower than the record for January of 2,247 units in 2008,” TIC says.
Among the segments, Heavy Duty sales continued its stronger performance in 2012 with a tally of 605 units, or 7.3% higher than January 2012. Medium Duty truck sales improved more than other segments, totaling 456 units or an increase of 19%, while Light Duty truck sales also improved at 615 units, up 14% compared with January 2012. The sales rate of vans sold in the Light Duty category slowed slightly to 203 units, or 8.6% lower than in 2012.
Tony McMullan, CEO of Truck Industry Council said the freight task was still running hot, despite the economic predictions.
“These conditions, combined with competitive interest rates, appear to have led more truck buyers back to the market, at least for now. However, if the forecast road freight task is to be met, truck sales will need to return to 2007-?08 levels soon. Otherwise we will have a significantly ageing fleet which brings with it a poorer environmental and safety outcome.”