Prime Mover Magazine

Heavy Duty truck sales second best on record

March sales for Heavy Duty trucks bucked market trends in other categories to deliver the second best first quarter on record according to data compiled by the Truck Industry Council (TIC). 

Even as the Light Duty Truck and Light Duty Van categories fell from last year's record levels, Heavy Duty Truck sales sustained pace from 2018 across the first three months of the year.

March delivered sales of 1,185 units in the Heavy Duty category, a slight increase of 0.9 per cent on the previous year.

The first quarter result was only 12 trucks short of the record mark set in 2018 with 2,915 heavy commercial vehicles sold year-to-date.

A total of 8,318 trucks and vans have been delivered in Australia in 2019, a decrease of 4.1 per cent over the same period last year.

In the Medium Duty segment truck sales regressed by 117 units, a drop of 6.6 per cent on the March tally recorded in 2019.

For Light Duty trucks, vehicles classified according to gross vehicle mass between 3,500kg and 8,000kg, slid by 5.3 per cent on the record of the previous year, with 941 units delivered in March.

The result for the quarter was even worse falling -169 units, a decrease of 6.6 per cent on the record for the same period last year.

Light Duty Van sales posted modest sales in March with a total of 506 units, down 5.8 percent, or -31 vans, when compared with March 2018. 

The first quarter tally is tracking down by a similar percentage, with 1,346 vans delivered so far in 2019, this is down by 5.8 percent (-83 vans) compared to the end of March 2018.

Truck Industry Council CEO Tony McMullan said March sales are consistent with the trends seen in all heavy vehicle segments year-to-date, noting that
Medium and Light Truck and Light Van segments tracking around six to seven percent down on 2018 results.

"The surprise continues to be the Heavy Truck segment that is in-line, or slightly ahead of the record sales that we saw for this segment last year," he said.

"It should be noted that even with the mid and bottom end of the market softening, truck sales to the end of March are the second best on record," said McMullan.

"Given the potential financial market volatility that is typically associated with a federal election, the current heavy vehicle market’s strength and resilience will no doubt be tested over the course of the next few months.”

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