Record July for truck market

Nearly 1,000 fewer units sold than in June but still at record total for the month


Whether it’s the start of the calendar year or financial year, the story is invariably the same – the first month sees commercial vehicle sales fall off a metaphorical cliff.

And why should 2017 be any different?

June’s 3,879 total gave way to July’s 2,936, a fall of 943 units that has only been exceeded by last year’s 959 and 2010’s 1,493, according to the Truck Industry Council’s (TIC’s) T-Mark statistics.

But this July’s total is still about 10 per cent higher than any other July this decade.

So, month-on-month is a much less crucial measure on how the sales resurgence is tracking.

The battle-royal in the heavy brigade is where the action is, specifically as Volvo and Kenworth slug it out.

Having drawn July last year at 158 apiece, Volvo has put a nose hair in from with 154 to Kenworth’s 153, though it is still 123 units behind for the year to date.

As Isuzu lost ground for the month year-on-year, down 49 units, Scania bounced be into form not seen for three years at 72 and has Mercedes-Benz breathing down its neck – at 66, its best July this decade and 16 above the previous best July, in 2011.

The salient contrast is with Western Star, which seems to be missing out on the construction boom and much other bulk business – at 30 for the second July in a row and a far cry from the 80s seen in 2012 and 2013.

Last month was also a bumper one for the medium-duty segment and a decade record at a total of 653, though year to date, at 3,975 was under 2010’s 4,135.

While Isuzu still leads it seems range-bound year on year around the 250 mark while Hino (up eight to 182) and Fuso (up 25 to 107, its first July in three figures since 2011) and now especially MAN are pushing on.

MAN has done some good business lately, reaching into the 50s per month.

Meanwhile, the light-duty sure refuses to be sapped and, at 924 for the month, is looking for four figures.

The year to date of 6,375 is a decade record, up from last year’s previous record of 5,875.

Isuzu rules this land and has lifted its market share above 40 per cent for the first time this decade.

Second-placed Hino has borne the brunt, down to 179 after being in the 200s in 2014 and 2015.

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