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Solid May truck sales set the scene for strong first half year

With another solid month of sales in May, new truck deliveries in 2017 are looking strong for the first half of the year, according to the Truck Industry Council (TIC).

“The total Australian new truck market for May 2017 reached 3,237 units, up a healthy 14.5 per cent on the same month in 2016,” the Council revealed last night.

All industry segments reported positive growth when compared to May 2016, making it the second best May on record, beaten only by May 2007, the year that holds the all-time record for new truck sales in Australia.

“Compared to 2007, this year’s market is down 468 trucks to the end of May (-3.6 per cent),” TIC explained.

“But [it is] still tracking comfortably above this time last year by 787 vehicles, or 6.5 per cent.”

The heavy-duty truck segment once again led the way in May, with 1,014 units sold – up 25.5 per cent, or 206 units, over May 2016.

“When compared with the record pre-Global Financial Crisis month of May 2007, where 1,156 trucks were sold, May 2017 is down by 14 per cent, showing that the heavy-duty market has still a little way to go before we could see some new sales records being set,” TIC put the number in perspective.

“Year-to-date, 3,880 heavy-duty trucks have been delivered, which is a 12.2 per cent increase (422 trucks) over this time last year.”

The medium-duty segment outsold the corresponding month in 2016 by 21 units, a 3.4 per cent increase. In total, some 637 medium-duty trucks were delivered last month, making for a year-to-date figure of 2,579 (+1.6 per cent).

Light-duty trucks were up a solid 18.9 per cent, TIC added, with 1,071 sales for the month of May and 4,218 units delivered thus far in 2017 – a gain of 7.7 percent on 2016.

Light-duty van sales were up 2.4 per cent year-on-year and one per cent year-to-date, indicating that the record set in 2015 is still in reach: “When comparing the record breaking year of 2015, sales to the end of May 2017 head those of 2015 by 50 deliveries, a 2.2 percent increase, indicating that 2017 could see the 2015 sales record broken,” TIC said.

“May was a strong month for heavy vehicle sales with all segments posting gains over May 2016,” summarized TIC President, Phil Taylor.

“It is pleasing to see the heavy-duty segment continuing to lead new truck sales growth in 2017, with light-duty truck sales also continuing their strong start to the year.”

Taylor added that June was typically a strong month for truck sales, “so the signs are all positive that we will reach the halfway point of 2017 with the best sales post the Global Financial Crisis. This should set the scene for a positive outcome by year end.”

Agreed TIC CEO, Tony McMullan. “This is probably a good indicator that business confidence is growing in the road freight sector as companies become willing to unlock the purse strings and invest in updating their truck fleets. The indicators are there for a solid 2017 result.”

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