Surprise Blip in Sales Despite the Crisis

surprise blip in sales despite the crisis

The latest truck sales figures released for June by the Truck Industry Council have come up with a surprise blip in sales despite the crisis continuing to unfold around Covid-19. Those of us who follow the figures closely are used to anomalous numbers as the financial year ends, but June 2020 has been one right out of the box.

As the financial year draws to close a lot of truck buyers want to finalise any deal to get the expense include in this year’s tax calculations and June will always tend to see more sales than either May or July and August. 

The effect of the pandemic has been to depress sales generally and the truck market was no exception, especially as we are coming off record sales of trucks 2019. Even in normal times this year would have been expected to see sales figures below that of an exceptional period like last year.

Instead, large sections of the market have been going gangbusters and even those sectors taking a hit this year were well up on projections for June. 

Overall truck sales in June were an amazing 4,620 trucks, up 548 on June 2019, which we have to remember was a record year. The highest monthly total truck sales figure for 2020 until this point had been 2,621 trucks in May. 

The reasons for this large spike in sales is not clear, and the truck manufacturers had already adjusted plans to take into to account the expected fall in overall economic activity during 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

The government’s stimulus package with tax write offs will certainly have swayed some truck buyers to pull sales forward, but many in the truck industry have been surprised by the unusually strong June surge.

surprise blip in sales despite the crisis

The boom in sales was not as strong across all of the market segments, with the light duty segment seeing the most obvious surge in sales with 1583 trucks going out of the door, compared to 1,274 in the record year in 2019. Medium duty sales also eclipsed last year’s total with 897 sales, against 796 in 2019.

Heavy duty appears to be the least effected by the blip in June sales with 1,134 sales in 2020, after 1,288 sales in 2019. This is still a large increase in sales as the previous highest monthly heavy duty sales in 2020, had been 852.

It also has to be noted that the 2020 trend in which Volvo is moving ahead of Kenworth in heavy duty truck sales seems to becoming more concrete. For the year so far Volvo has held an 18.8 per cent market share, while Kenworth are at 16.6 per cent, this equates to a difference of 105 truck sales in the year so far.

surprise blip in sales despite the crisis