Charge of the heavy brigade marks truck sales

September totals a promising showing with Kenworth’s mojo strong

Charge of the heavy brigade marks truck sales
The empire continues striking back


With the industry three-quarters of the way through the calendar year, the only commercial vehicles sales constant seems to be month-on-month volatility.

Truck Industry Council (TIC) monthly T-Mark figures show September’s total at 2,858, up from August’s 2,616 but down on July’s 2,891.

Those keen on the historic level will note that this year’s September is desperately close to 2016’s 2,863 but well-below 2017’s 3,304.

It may be worth keeping in mind that though July is traditionally a quiet month, federal government instant asset write-off incentives are in the sales mix and are held responsible for a spike in all sorts of vehicle sales, including cars and commercial vans, along with used trucks.

In trucks of all sizes, market leader Isuzu is gliding down in the past three months, from 724 in July to 661 in September, while bridesmaid Hino slides from 456 to 382 but then ticks up last month to 398.

Third-placed Fuso reverses Isuzu’s experience somewhat, gliding steadily up from 309 to 318.

Heavy duty

Whatever ups and downs there may be in other segments, the big bankers know only one way this past quarter – and that’s up.

No minor glide here, with the last three monthly totals are 782 in July, 821 in August and a particularly muscular-under-the-circumstances 905 in September.

That last figure is solidly over September 2016’s 836, though comfortably under September 2017’s 1,139.

In the clash of the titans at the top, Kenworth has all but erased Volvo’s year-to-date lead, trailing by just three units on 1,316 and besting its major rival 195 to 146 for the month.

During the quarter, Volvo suffers from a dip, its last three months coming in at 140, 110 and 146, while Kenworth goes onward at upward with 144, 159 and 195 – that last number being the same as in September 2016 but below September 2017’s 229.

 Read about the previous month's truck sales performance, here

Also a steady upward-mover is Scania with 66, 78 and 80, while Mercedes-Benz is going sedately the other way 67, 63 and 58.

Iveco was unable to sustain all its spike with 22, 37 and 33 and most of the rest were pretty steady, bar cellar-dweller Dennis Eagle, which scored 15 after two months of no sales.

Medium duty

The next level down sees the market making heavy weather in a torrid climate, the last three months’ totals coming in at 570, 484 and 517.

Compare the last figure with 2016’s 629 and the difficulty becomes plain.

Leader Isuzu’s jump back above the 200 mark – 233, 192 and 212 is a mirror to the segment total and the perennial place getters, with Hino at 196, 166 and 167, and Fuso 104, 87 and 91.

Light duty

Speaking of comparative mirrors, the light truck segment looks eerily familiar, with the quarter showing 989, 849 and 907.

That said, the leading makes’ performances varied.

Leader Isuzu followed the market at 388, 355 and 357.

But the heat lies in the battle for second place, where Fuso, though behind on YTD is putting up a stout show MOM, even besting Hino last month.

Fuso’s quarter is 174, 197 and 187,while Hino was able wrest second position back last month, its quarter being 227, 172 and 188.


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