Heavy Duty truck sales strong again while Light Duty breaks another record

For the second month in succession, the result for the Heavy Duty truck segment have proven buoyant, with 1,029 HD units sold, an increase of 27.8 per cent, or 224 units, on February 2021.

When compared with the all time February record, set in 2008 pre-GFC, when 1,060 trucks were sold, this 2022 result is down by a mere 31 trucks, or just 3 per cent, and marks the second best February result on record for the Heavy Duty segment.

According to the Truck Industry Council (TIC), the HD segment is tracking a very healthy 26.0 per cent (365 trucks) above the same period last year.

In terms of the total Australian truck market for February 2022, some 2,872 units were ordered, up 3.7 per cent on February 2021.

Despite being well short (145 trucks, about 5 per cent down) of the all-time record for February sales are providing further confidence in the market.

Geopolitical instability and recent flood disasters notwithstanding, the industry now has a solid platform to springboard from.

Overall, the market is up 5.3 per cent (253 vehicles) over 2021, with 5,020 trucks delivered year-to-date.

However, this is down 208 vehicles compared to the record year of 2018, where to the end of February, 5,228 heavy vehicles had been delivered.

The Medium Duty segment also performed well again in February with 544 truck deliveries for the month in contrast to the 494 units sold in February 2021, a healthy gain of 10.1 per cent (50 trucks).

While the MD segment is a shrinking market, TIC said it was unlikely that new Medium truck sales records would be rewritten any time soon.

In February sales in the category were 145 trucks down (-21 per cent) on the best ever February deliveries of 689 trucks achieved back in 2008.

The Medium truck segment is up 12.2 percent year-on-year compared to the end of February 2021, that is 105 more MD trucks sold thus far in 2022.

The Light Duty truck segment set a new sales record for the month of January 2022 and backed it up in February, with the best ever second month sales result.

February 2022 LD truck sales were 1,023, marginally above the previous February record set just last year, when 1,011 Light trucks were delivered.

Those 12 trucks, even so, represent a new February record.

With two record months of sales to start the year, 2022 Light Duty truck sales are off to a solid start, up 2.9 per cent (51 trucks) over 2021, the previous best start to a year for the LD truck segment.

Truck Industry Council CEO, Tony McMullan, said 2022 had begun on a positive note for road transport sector.

“February truck sales continued to build upon the strong start to the year that we saw in January. It is particularly pleasing to witness the Heavy Duty truck segment setting sales at near record levels,” he said.

“Whilst the Light Duty truck segment is rewriting the record books thus far in 2022. However, I do caution industry observers from becoming too optimistic, highlighting how supply chain and shipping issues can significantly dampen the source of vehicles very quickly,” said McMullan.

“The struggles in the Light Duty van segment thus far in 2022, highlight just how fragile global supply is currently. We also must be mindful of escalating world diesel prices and the pending Australian federal election, as being other possible external forces that may dampen the enthusiasm for new truck purchases as we move through the year.”
The Light Duty Van segment has had a start to 2022 to forget.

Van sales have not yet bounced back from a disappointing January.

Supply chain issues and shipping delays have continued to impact van deliveries into Australia, with a majority hailing from Europe.

Only 276 vans were sold in February, that is down 39.9 per cent over sales for February 2021.

When compared to the February sale record of 560 vans, set in 2016, the February 2022 result is down by a staggering 51 per cent.

Year-to-date van sales are well down over 2021 numbers, -35.0 per cent, that amounts to 268 fewer vans sold thus far in 2022.

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