TIC praises lighter truck sale but heavy is a worry

McMullan reiterates concern about heavy truck fleet’s increasing age profile


Truck Industry Council (TIC) CEO Tony McMullan has lauded the contribution of lighter trucks and vans to the commercial vehicle sales effort but reiterated concerns around the heavy-duty fleet.

The continuing decline of sales at the top end of the market "noticeably sets this year apart from any that we have seen in the past decade", the organisation says.

While the general result for May was reasonable, it was the number of sales at the bottom end of the market that drove the overall result and individual segment numbers need to be reviewed to obtain a clearer picture of how the market is tracking for the month and the year thus far.

The strong result in May, at 880 units, helped to move the year-to-date sales of light trucks ahead of the same period last year by 339, or 10.6 per cent.

"The solid May result builds on the encouraging sales seen in March and April, however as we have seen for much of the year to date, it is the van and light-truck segments that are boosting this year’s figures, while the Heavy Truck segment continues to decline," McMullan says.

"My fear is that continuing poor heavy duty truck sales will negatively impact on the age of this segment in the Australian truck fleet.

"The TIC has substantial evidence that shows a direct relationship between new truck sales and truck fleet age.

"The current poor heavy duty sales will result in older trucks in this critically important road transport sector."

Year-to-date sales were tracking down 13.2 per cent over the same period in 2014 and gap has widened to 544 heavy trucks year-to-date. 

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