May truck sales drag themselves off the canvas again

Totals bounce up and down in alternate months while heavy-duty segment rallies


Hard-pressed truck makers will derive some comfort from May’s commercial vehicle sales as they rebound somewhat from April’s dismal figures and a poor start to the year.

Part of that will be that the latest figures, at 2,688 units, are up on the previous May’s 2,575 and on April’s 2,390.

But it remains lower than March’s year high of 2,893 and May 2013’s 2,769, Truck Industry Council (TIC) figures show.

Most relieved across the truck duty levels will be Hino, which is enduring a volatile year, scoring 414 sales overall after slipping to 289 in April from 477 in March and 310 in February.

Similar gyrations affect Fuso (283, 239, 285 and 235 counting back), Iveco (105, 82, 103, 115), Scania (46, 32, 57, 22) and MAN (40, 14, 23, 24).

Heavy duty manufacturers remain in a soft market, with the rollercoaster in full swing (793, 737, 885, 638) this year while below the previous May’s 937.

Market leader Kenworth, at 138, suffered its worst month since January’s 124, while Volvo, at 109 seems range-bound between 100 and 110 since January despite a breakout in March to 151.

Kenworth’s market share has suffered also, dropping to 17.4 per cent for the month after an extended month-on-month run in the 20s.

Isuzu has made steady progress here, marching steadily up through the year to 107, three more units than May last year.

As with the market generally, medium-duty sales bounced back (590, 477, 581 426), with Isuzu, at 232, continuing to grow steadily while the zig-zag affected major challengers Hino, Fuso and UD.

The story was much the same for light-duty trucks (822, 688, 867, 702).

In the broad vans segment, normal service was resumed as Mercedes-Benz went back above the 200 mark to 205 from 191 while Renault’s charge faltered, dropping 40 units to 108.

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