Best first half of year sales in a decade

Heavy vehicles continue promising run, with light-duty trucks still hot

Best first half of year sales in a decade
The action continues in the heavy duty segment


An observer would have to go back more than a decade to find a better first half of the calendar year for commercial vehicle sales.

AT 16,791 units, according to Truck Industry Council (TIC) T-Mark statistics for June, the total is bested only by 2008’s 18,218.

Even so, this June’s 3,879 total tops June 2008’s 3,671 comfortably, and it is more than 600 units higher than this May’s 3,237.

Traditionally a good month for vehicle sales of all sorts, June saw Isuzu threaten to break into 2008-like four figures across all sizes, falling just short at 986, while Hino fell even shorter from its first June attempt above 500 since 2009, needing only three to make that mark.

Amongst the heavy horses, the first half total of 5,130 marks a satisfying return to form of the sort not seen since 2013’s 5,147, when the mining industry still had a head of steam.

At 212, Kenworth sprang back into monthly double-century territory after slipping out in May, though it’s year-to-date (YTD) total is down on recent years.

Meanwhile, Volvo is starting to breathe down the sector leader’s neck – its 183 for the month and 762 for the first six months are records for this set of T-Mark statistics and its market share is now hovering around 15 per cent at a time when Kenworth’s has slid from the low 20s this decade to 17.3 per cent.

Also consolidating the European challenge is Scania and it should be noted that its year-to-date figure of 442 continued to march upward, almost as much as Western Star, at 181, has fallen from grace to nearly half what it recorded early in the decade.

At the other end of the scale, it should be noted that with 71 units in the first half and eight for the month, Dennis Eagle is also having a bumper 2017 so far, the sort of year not seen since 2012’s extraordinary 58  and 101.

Medium-duty sales, at 3,322 YTD continued the decade’s zig-zagging run, down on last year’s 3,345 but up on 2015 and 2014 but less than 2013’s 3,143 and so on.

More easily analysed are light-duty sales, the trajectory of which knows only one way to go – the one marked ‘record-breaking’ for the second year in a row.

At 5,551, they have settled above a level reached last year at 5,019 and never before.

This segment continues to be driven by Isuzu.

While swiping market share from Hino to sit above 40 per cent for the first time in first-half YTD terms at 41.2 per cent, it is also at 2,244 units, another record.

Also in new territory is Iveco, at 106 for the month and 390 for the YTD, something for the make to savour when you consider that in the first year of the decade, those numbers sat at 13 and 69.



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