TIC sees ‘solid’ start to new year truck sales

Truck Industry Council surprised at heavy duty strength

TIC sees ‘solid’ start to new year truck sales
TIC says it’s early days yet


Heavy-duty trucks hero status continues, with the Truck Industry Council (TIC) singling out the segment as an outstanding performer in January.

With total and segment falls compared with last January miniscule, TIC points out the month’s performance, at 2,196 units, was  just 51 vehicles shy of the all-time January sales record of 2008.

"Coming off slowing sales in the final quarter of 2018, it was expected that heavy truck sales would continue to slow in 2019, however 769 heavy duty trucks were sold, beating the January result of last year by 13 trucks, up 1.7 per cent," the peak body states.

"When compared with the record pre-GFC January of 2008 where 841 trucks were sold, this 2019 result is down by about 9 percent, showing just how strong the market was back then. That said, January 2019 Heavy sales were the second best on record."

Read how truck sales fared for the first month of 2019, here

A thumbs up was also given to the medium-duty segment’s 440-units, though it has no expectations of falling records there.

"This result is well short, 111 trucks, or just over 20 percent, of the best ever January deliveries of 551 medium trucks achieved in 2008," TIC says.

"However, as TIC has reported previously, the MD segment is a shrinking market, so it is unlikely that we will ever see new medium truck sales rewriting the record books."

Light-duty trucks and light-duty vans both set records in recent Januarys.

TIC sees a sales cycle as weighing on light trucks, with vans rebounding to 396 units, just seven up on the previous January.

TIC CEO Tony McMullan takes a conservative line on the first month’s figures.

"January was a strong start to the year, almost as good as January 2018, a year that of course went on to set a new all-time record for new truck sales in Australia," McMullan says.

"It was very pleasing to see such a strong start to the year for the Heavy and Medium Duty truck segments, both up on January 2018 results and a reversal of the slowing seen in these segments in the last quarter of 2018.

"However, as I generally remark at this time of year, January and even February sales, are subject to fluctuations and some inconsistencies due to the transition of supplying trucks from one year to the next and the summer holiday season.

"One should not read too much into the January result.

"We will have a much better indication of how the market is tracking for the year at the end of the first quarter, once January, February and March numbers are in and the market has had a chance to normalise."


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