2024 is gearing up to be a record-breaking year for truck sales, with sales for January already exceeding expectations.
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According to the Truck Industry Council, total Australian new truck sales for January 2024 were 2,703 units, falling short of setting a new January heavy vehicle sales record by only 83 trucks.
However, the heavy duty truck and van sectors set new sales records, and medium duty truck sales were at a 5 year high for January.
“As in 2023, it is very pleasing to see such a strong start to the year for new heavy vehicle sales in Australia, with the heavy truck and light van segments setting new January sales records and medium trucks posting their best January sales result in five years,” TIC CEO Tony McMullan says.
“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 period.
“The relative poor showing in the light truck segment could well be due to these factors. Hence one should not read too much into these January results.
“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.
“However, with recent positive economic signs, such as inflation easing, we have perhaps seen the worst of interest rates hikes and similar economic deterrents and if the economy strengthens in 2024 that could bode well for truck sales this year.”
Sales figures by category are detailed below.
Heavy duty trucks
The January 2024 result was a new monthly record for heavy duty trucks, beating the record set in 2023.
Heavy sales were expected to drop coming into in 2024 as strong sales at the end of 2023 faded, however 948 Heavy Duty trucks were sold, beating the record January result of last year by the small margin of four trucks, or 0.4 per cent.
Both the 2023 and 2024 heavy sales results are significantly higher than the previous January record set in the pre-GFC January of 2008 where 814 trucks were sold. The 2024 and 2023 results are up by 16 per cent.
Medium duty trucks
440 medium trucks were delivered in January 2024 in comparison to 406 trucks in January last year, an overall gain of 8.4 per cent.
The TIC says the MD segment is a shrinking market, suggesting its unlikely that medium duty trucks will set any records across 2024.
Despite this, the segment is off to a strong start in 2024 with the best January sales seen since 2019, a five year high.
Light duty trucks
Light duty truck sales faced a significant drop in January, falling well short of January 2023 deliveries.
This is comparing this month’s sales to an all-time record from January last year, with 823 new light duty trucks sold in January 2024. This is down a significant 19.9 per cent compared to 12 months ago, or 205 less light duty truck sales compared to the same month last year.