Prime Mover Magazine

Heavy Duty truck sales drop in August

Sales slowed in the month of August in the truck and heavy van market with sales down 14.3 per cent for vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 3,500kg and over for the same period last year.

Sales in all truck and heavy van categories were in remission to August 2018 results with the heavy vehicle market showing clear signs of slowing in 2019, with month-on-month lower sales recorded.

The total of 3,397 new heavy vehicle sales was a decrease on the 548 trucks and vans recorded in August last year.

The Heavy Duty market struggled with the segment registering only 986 units, a drop of 21.6 per cent with August, 2018.

However, the year-to-date trend is more positive, with Heavy sales tracking down 7.9 percent over this period last year.

Total sales thus far in 2019 for the Heavy Duty segment stand at 8,443 trucks.

The Medium Duty Truck segment has struggled since the start of 2019 after posting strong sales in 2018.

August saw the trend of sliding sales this year continue. In August 644 Medium truck sales were recorded, that represents a 10.7 percent (-77 units) loss over August 2018.

The August result drags the year-to-date Medium segment sales lower, now 7.0 percent behind the same period last year, that is 380 fewer Medium trucks.

A total of 5,051 Medium Duty trucks have been sold year-to-date.

2019 Light Duty truck sales have been consistent, but slow, when compared to 2018 results and August saw that trend continue.

With a total of 1,029 sales for the month of August, the Light Duty truck segment was down 10.8 percent, -125 vehicles over the corresponding month last year.

Year-to-date Light Duty truck sales trail those of 2018 by 9.4 percent, that amounts to 789 less Light trucks sold thus far in 2019, with the year-to-date total sitting at 7,581 trucks.

Van sales at the halfway point of the year (to the end of June 2019) were up on 2018 sales by 4.2 percent (129 vans), that was a new record for first half year LD Van sales in Australia.

While still tracking above 2018 levels, poor August sales have seen the van segment drop and now track only 2.7 percent ahead of 2018 results.

A total of 713 heavy vans were sold in August 2019, down 10.5 percent units when compared with the month of August last year.

Year-to-date 4,305 new van sales have been recorded to the end of August, that is up 112 sales over the same period in 2018.

Tony McMullan, CEO of Truck Industry Council (TIC), recognised the new truck market, with month-on-month falls, had slowed this year and was unlikely to recover in the remaining four months.

“The August result continues the trend that has been building over the past few months. Economic conditions have generally slowed globally and in Australia," he said.

"We now see that trend reflected in new truck and heavy van sales. Given the slowing of sales over the past three, to four months, it would now seem unlikely that we will witness a turnaround in new truck sales over the next four months to year end," said McMullan.

"Hence it is likely that the market will finish down on the record result that was posted in 2018. However, the market may well finish above the previous peak of 38,131 vehicle sales recorded back in 2007, potentially making 2019 the second best year on record for new heavy vehicle sales in Australia.”

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