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Prime Mover Magazine

Truck sales growth eases for Q3 2018

At the conclusion of the September quarter, the Australian new truck and heavy van industry continued to track strongly towards 2018 becoming the best year ever in terms of units sold and finally cracking the current record achieved in 2007.

The statistics released by the Truck Industry Council (TIC) show that although September’s results for trucks were 97 units less than in the previous month of August, the 3,035 that was achieved exceeded September 2017’s total by 218 or 7.7 per cent. The year to date accrual for the first three quarters of 2018 reached 26,001 which was 4,037 more than for the same period last year (up 18.4 per cent). As an indication of just how far the market has progressed, the total at the end of September this year was just 487 units less than for the entire year in 2015.

Heavy Duty trucks recorded 1,196 which was 57 more than in September 2017 and the accrued total for the year of 10,361 was a startling 2,099 more than for the first nine months of 2017 and showed a growth rate of 25.4 per cent. The 2018 September quarter achieved an additional 411 heavy Duty trucks over the same three months of 2017.

The Medium Duty category was slightly down on September last year at 655 which was just 11 less than last year. The year to date total remained very healthy at 6,086 which was 837 more than at the same point in 2017 and showed growth in the category to be 15.9 per cent.

The Light Duty truck sector also posted some good results for September with the 1,184 units eclipsing the corresponding month from last year by 172 units or 17 per cent. The year to date total of 9,554 light duty trucks was 1,101, or 13.0 per cent, more than the result at the end of the September quarter last year.

The Heavy Van category slipped from 713 in August to 471 in September which may have been just a symptom of the month to month roller coaster results that have been seen all year. The 471 still compared favourably with the 487 units achieved in September last year. Importantly, the year to date total of 4,664 showed that overall the van market had grown by 316 units or 7.3 per cent over the same period last year.

Simple arithmetic will indicate that the combined van and truck market is set to exceed 40,000 units this year. However, industries as volatile as the commercial vehicle market are never simple and the final quarter will most likely see a continued easing of the growth rate shown in the first two quarters.

“Another solid quarter for the Heavy and Light truck segments, while sales in the Medium Duty truck segment remain strong year-to-date despite slowing a little in quarter three,” said TIC CEO, Tony McMullan. “At the three quarter mark of the year van sales are up over the same point in 2017, but not to the same degree as we see in the truck segments. With just three months to go until year end, the industry is still on track hit a new market peak, though with signs that the market is slowing, that may not be the 40,000 plus mark that many were predicting at the halfway point of the year.”

(Image: Truck Industry Council CEO, Tony McMullan.)

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