Commercial vehicle sales bowl along in September

First half blitz keeps year-to-date total in record territory

Commercial vehicle sales bowl along in September
There have been some big sales moves recently amongst the makes


With another bumper calendar year of commercial vehicle sales two-thirds the way through, only a cataclysm can push another record off the road.

Certainly, September’s total of 3,506 is down on August’s 3,845 but there was no discernible pattern in the previous three years to give that much meaning.

What’s not in doubt is that Truck Industry Council (TIC) T-Mark figures show trucks and commercial vans are at 30,665 in the year to date (YTD), in the third decile for the first time and comfortably ahead of last year’s 26,312, 2016’s 23,951 and 2015’s 23,388.

After being challenged for second spot over all in July, Hino has pulled away from Fuso again in the past two months – at 502, a solid margin on the latter’s 338. Most other makes slipped slightly.

In the heavy-duty segment, the YTD figure was also in record breaking territory – above the 10th decile for the first time, at 10,361, and with clear air on 2017’s 8,262, 2016’s 6,947 and 2015’s 7,219.

See how August’s sales figures performed in our graph, here

Kenworth basically held its ground, at 265 for the month, only three units down on August but YTD is up by one-third on each of the previous two years.

And while Mack was also one of the few to hold ground, even at 95 units, the big move was Scania’s, up to 81 from 60 and 63 in preceding months.

Though it’s still early days for International, it hasn’t made it past four units in the past three months.

Medium-duty trucks have a similar YTD story to tell: in the sixth decile for the first time at 6,086, solidly above the previous years’ 5,249, 5,153 and 4,882.

 Isuzu’s first financial-year quarter has been relentless – July 247, August 281, September 294 and with the third decile in obvious reach.

But the action is in the ongoing battle for fourth spot, with UD and MAN duking it out. Though on monthly basis, UD’s 32 is five above MAN’s 27, the German make leads YTD at 536 to 348. This has not always been so and MAN’s overhauling of its Japanese rival is an unsung story. UD has been on a shallow YTD slide from 404 in September 2015, while MAN managed only 41 units at that time and has multiplied that by more than 10.

The light-duty trucks’ story is one of month-on-month consolidation rather than growth, though the YTD total is more than 1,000 units above this time last year and leaves previous years in its dust.

The Hino-Fuso feud rumbles on with Hino reasserting its hold on second place behind Isuzu after years of the pair swapping control. Hino is at 273 for September (YTD 2,074) and Fuso recorded 195 (YTD: 1,840).

The accelerator here, however, has been trodden on by Mercedes-Benz in the past three months. Benz began the financial year at 27 units, lifted that to 90 and again to 129.


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