Heavy duty trucks highlight of improved sales year


The Truck Industry Council (TIC) is looking to a 5 percent rise in sales this year after a hefty 10 percent rebound in 2012.

Heavy duty trucks highlight of improved sales year
The Truck Industry Council (TIC) is looking to a 5 percent rise in sales this year after a hefty 10 percent rebound in 2012.

TIC described 2012's 10.4 percent increase on 2011's result, to 30,745 vehicles, as encouraging but noted the earlier year's performance had been coloured by the effects of natural disasters in Japan on supply.

Factoring this in, TIC sees the underlying increase as measuring about 5 percent.

What it had not foreseen however was the 21.5 percent rise in the heavy-duty segment to 11,378, which it says "was chiefly responsible for growth of the total market exceeding initial expectations".

The TIC says the surprisingly good result for heavy- duty trucks "seems to reflect the return to the HD truck market by some fleets which may have deferred purchases in recent years, as well as continuing demand from the mining sector".

Despite the pleasing growth, overall sales remained 24 percent below the 2007 record of 38,131 vehicles

Taking December sales alone, 2012 was up almost 9 percent compared with December 2011, at 2,720 units. However that figure is still well down on the record sales of more than 3,500 trucks in December 2007.

For the fourth quarter of 2012, more than 8,500 trucks were sold - 16 percent more than for the last quarter of 2011. And the second half of 2012 was nearly 13 percent better for truck dealers than the second half of 2011.

In the light-duty segment, truck sales in December were almost 18 percent higher than in December 2011, and for the fourth quarter it recorded a similar increase. The final tally for the year was just over 9,000 units.

Light duty vans were up almost 7 percent for the year to almost 3,400 units.

However the medium-duty segment posted an 11 percent decline compared with December 2011, reversing a positive trend in the previous few months.

The full year tally for medium-duty sales of 6,725 units is 7 percent higher than for 2011, but the medium segment is not keeping up with total market growth.

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