Truck sales surpass last year in Australia

According to the latest report released by the Truck Industry Council, sales for commercial vehicles up until November increased by a healthy 24.4 per cent over the corresponding period in 2020.

Last year’s 28,233 units to the close of November has been easily eclipsed this year with 31,540 units sold.

Of the 3,300 truck sales reported for last month 1,316 of these were represented by vehicles in the Heavy Duty sector.

That was 284 more units than November last year (+27.5 per cent).

The year-to-date figure of 11,733 for the category amounts to 2,261 more than at the same point last year (+23.9 per cent).

Medium Duty vehicles accounted for 688 of November’s total number of trucks sold, helping to carry the year-to-date total to 6,656 (+12.2 per cent) with an increase of 126 on the same month last year.

The Light Duty sector was slightly below the Heavy Duty numbers with 1,296 new units sold during November, an increase of 281 compared to the same month in 2020 (+28.5 per cent).

As a result it took the year-to-date total to 13,151, which is 3,202 more Light Duty trucks than for the same period last year (+32.2 per cent).

The need for additional trucks to meet the significantly increasing freight task which has become evident as the country emerges from most of its lockdowns, in combination with the Federal Government’s exceptional financial incentives around asset write-offs for taxation purposes, is undeniably reflected in the monthly figures produced by the TIC for November.

Industry insiders report that delivery dates are starting to creep well into 2022 for some models as manufacturers both here and overseas grapple with providing sufficient capacity as well as shortages of certain components.

Body builders and trailer manufacturers are also dealing with full order books.

Although the large van market contracted compared with the previous month of October (-39.8 per cent) and November 2020 (-38.0 per cent) the 350 units achieved during November this year carried the year-to-date result to 6,336 which is 693 units or 12.3 per cent more than during the first 11 months of 2020.

It’s an outcome exclusive of the 150 vans which the Europcar rental organisation announced in the first week of December it would be purchasing from IVECO.

The tax write-offs introduced as key weapons in the government’s arsenal intended to defeat the economic consequences of the COVID clampdown will be in place until the end of June 2023, all but guaranteeing that commercial vehicle sales records will continue to be tested.

In a statement Tony McMullan, TIC Chief Executive Officer, said despite the many challenges thrown at the truck sector in 2021, it was pleasing to operators purchasing trucks in near record numbers.

“It is testament to the resolve of the industry, the unwavering efforts of the truck importers and local manufacturers and the economic stimulus package that has been deployed by the federal government,” he said.

“As of the end of November, new truck sales stood at 37,876 vehicles, that is 297 trucks shy of the November 2018 mark. 2018 holds the record for new truck sales in Australia and with just the month of December remaining, many within the industry are asking could 2021 see the 41,628 peak surpassed?

To set a new annual sales record, December 2021 would need to see sales in excess of 3,752 trucks according to McMullan.

“The best ever December sales result was that of 2007, when 3,509 trucks were delivered,” he said.

“That would be one hell of a December, but who knows, ‘unprecedented’ and ‘never seen before’, are terms that we are all becoming accustomed.”

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