TIC foresees truck sales record run


Trend on track to ‘rewrite record book’ in initial six months

TIC foresees truck sales record run
Tony McMullan

 

A first-half of the calendar year in record truck-sales territory is distinctly possible, according to the Truck Industry Council (TIC).

The total Australian new truck market for May 2018 reached 3,913 units, up 20.9 per cent on the same month in 2017 and is a record for May heavy vehicle sales, surpassing the previous best result of 3,323 set in 2007.

All segment posted positive growth over May 2017.

Year-to-date, the result for the total market is even better, tracking above this time last year by 2,827 vehicles or 21.9 per cent.

"June is typically a strong month for trucks sales as we reach the end of our financial year and the signs are all positive that we will reach the halfway point of 2018 with a result that will rewrite the history books for heavy vehicle sales in Australia. This has been a long time in the making," TIC president Phil Taylor says.

Taylor is particularly gratified by the heavy duty (HD) truck segment’s "record breaking month after record breaking month".

It again led the way with sales growth, with 1,328 units sold, up a significant 31per cent, or 314 units, over May 2017.

"When compared with the record pre-Global Financial Crisis month of May 2007 when 1,156 trucks were sold, May 2018 is up by 15 per cent, showing that the HD market is well on track for a sales record for the first six months of this year," TIC says.

"Year-to-date, 5,387 ‘heavies’ have been delivered, up a staggering 38.8 per cent (1,506 trucks) over this time last year."

The medium duty (MD) segment continues to perform strongly too, outselling the corresponding month in 2017 by 110 units, a 17.3 percent increase. In total, 747 MD trucks were delivered in May 2018. For the year-to-date, 3,189 MD trucks have been delivered, up a very healthy 23.7 per cent (611 trucks) over the same period in 2017.

Light-duty (LD) trucks were again well into positive territory up 13.5 percent for the month with 1,215 sales in May 2018, compared with 1,071 sales for May 2017. Thus, 4,717 LD trucks have been delivered thus far in 2018, compared with 4,218 in 2017, a gain of 11.8 per cent year-to-date 2018.

TIC notes that light-duty van sales in 2018 have been up on 2017, however, sales in the van segment have not been quite so spectacular trucks.

That said, van sales in May were up by 21 per cent over May 2017 with 623 vans being delivered. This takes the year -to-date 2018 van tally to 2,446, up 211 vans (9.4 percent) over the result to the end of May 2017.

TIC CEO Tony McMullan points to national economic performance as a key driver for the sales performance.

"It is particularly satisfying to see heavy duty truck sales at record or near record levels over the first five months of the year," McMullan says.

"This is a good indicator that business confidence is strong in the road freight sector as it is across most, if not all, economic segments.

"The indicators are there for a record first half year result and hopefully a similar result in quarters three and four of 2018."

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