Industry finishes year on high with record sales month


Oh so close: that was the headline from the Truck Industry Council (TIC) with the release of its end-of-year sales tallies and commentary for 2021.

Australian truck and heavy van sales for the calendar year totalled 41,404 units, according to the T-Mark data, up a massive 6928 vehicles, or 20.1 per cent, over 2020 sales.

Boosted by record numbers in December (3528), the 2021 total fell just 225 trucks short of the previous best year in 2018 when 41,628 heavy vehicles were sold.

The TIC points out, however, that there are some major differences in the segment totals that make up those numbers.

In 2018, the market was very much driven by the sale of heavy-duty trucks. In 2021, that Kenworth-led sector was much weaker, said the TIC.

Rather, sales were driven by light trucks and vans last year, up by more than 10 per cent on the 2018 total, due to the boom in online shopping and home deliveries.

Heavy truck sales in 2021 were almost 10 per cent lower than in 2018, as were medium truck sales, a factor the TIC contributes to a combination of supply chain issues and a lack of confidence in the economic climate.

“The past few weeks have again highlighted that the road ahead is neither clear, nor certain,” said TIC CEO Tony McMullan.

“Covid remains an issue that we need to continue to live with and manage. For TIC members, domestic and global supply chain issues look to be the greatest threat to new truck and van supply over the next 24 months.

“This situation will not be resolved quickly and whilst the federal government’s financial incentives remain in place for over a year, TIC requests that government consider extending the ‘delivery to market’ phase of these incentives, thus allowing new trucks to be delivered into service for a period of one year, beyond the current deadline of June 2023.”

TIC’s heavy-duty numbers for December.

In the Kenworth-dominated heavy-duty sector, however, there was still plenty to celebrate.

Mercedes-Benz, for one, recorded its best ever sales in Australia in 2021.

Led by the Actros and Arocs heavy-duty haulers, Mercedes-Benz Trucks set a new high mark of 1290, breaking the previous record of 1189, said a media statement from Daimler Truck and Bus.

Sales were so strong that Mercedes-Benz Trucks passed the milestone with one month to spare.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks Australia Pacific Director, Andrew Assimo, says the sales result is a reflection of the total value and performance of its heavy duty trucks.

“Mercedes-Benz trucks are in higher demand than ever as more operators experience the comfort and refinement, long service intervals, legendary fuel economy and exceptional performance of the Actros and Arocs models,” said Assimo.

“Ever since we introduced the Euro 6 Actros in 2016, owners have discovered for themselves the total cost savings delivered by our trucks and the benefits of the class-leading support packages that back them.”

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