Truck sales still flat

The end of financial year jump in truck sales, as reported in the Truck Industry Council sales figures, has boosted overall numbers, but the market still remains below that achieved in 2013. Market leaders seem to be able to keep up the momentum in their truck sales in this relatively flat year, as those further down the food chain see a marked dip in numbers.

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Looking at the overall sales figures for June, the market leader is actually ahead of its numbers for last year. Isuzu has racked up 3265 truck sales so far this year, further cementing its number one status. Mack and Volvo are also ahead on their performance last year at a total of 487 and 651 respectively, but every other brand has missed last year’s halfway point sales figure, only Scania come close, missing its 2013 mark by just three.

Heavy duty sees Kenworth also cement its dominance as number one with a total of 1002 trucks sold so far and a buoyant 23.3 per cent of the heavy duty truck market for June. Volvo’s strong 2014 continues to show its status as number two firmly held at the halfway mark. Western Star’s slow start to the year continues with heavy duty market share down to 7.3 per cent, after last year’s 9.4 percent, at this stage.

The ongoing low numbers in the medium duty market are beginning to look more like a structural change in the market than a blip. Again, the market leaders are holding onto sales better than the also rans in the field. Isuzu’s market share is now entrenched above 40 per cent with sales lower than 2013. Hino’s numbers have slipped but they retain second spot on the ladder well ahead of Fuso who are the only brand to have sold more trucks so far this year than last, and pushed market share 17.6 per cent.

The Hino/Fuso battle for second place in the light duty truck market has seen Hino displace Fuso after the Daimler owned brand performed so well in 2013. This year has seen Hino pick up both sales numbers and market share to secure the number two slot at the halfway point in the year with 875 trucks sold at 21.9 per cent of the light duty truck market.

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We have become used to the van market showing completely different trends to the rest of the truck market. Yet again, overall numbers are up on 2013 as the van growth hints at a structural change in the market away from medium duty and to the higher and lower weight classifications. Mercedes Benz continue to dominate van sales but Renault have come on leaps and bounds in 2014, with 418 sales this year compared to 59 last year for the first half.

As a reflection of the general transport economy the sales figures from TIC tend to show us what other indicators confirm. There is life and growth in the transport business but it is not across the board, it remains confined to specific sectors.