After ceding the lead to Volvo for much of the year, Kenworth has made what looks to be a winning surge to retain its heavy-duty sales crown for 2023.
According to the November numbers just released by the Truck Industry Council, the Bayswater badge notched 338 deliveries for the month, 49 more than its nearest rival.
That leaves Kenworth on 3244 year-to-date (YTD), 107 in front of Volvo on 3137 with just a month to go.
Of the others in the heavy-duty sector, Mercedes-Benz was the biggest mover, recording a respectable tally of 112 in November to edge clear of UD Trucks into sixth spot on the YTD race.
Overall, new truck sales for the 11 months stood at 43,646, a new record to the end of November.
With the record annual total standing at 44,379, TIC says it’s inevitable there will be fresh figures set again by the end of 2023.
“Even if we apply the worst ever December new truck sales figure of 2498 trucks from 2009, the market will comfortably exceed the market record set in 2022,” TIC said.
The Kenworth-led heavy-duty truck segment was up again in November, continuing a year long trend, with a total of 1607 units delivered for the month, up 5.8 per cent, or 88 trucks, on November 2022.
In terms of actual truck numbers, the sales gap has now stretched to 2332 more heavy trucks sold YTD than in 2022.
This November result was a new sales record for the month. YTD the result is even stronger, with heavy sales tracking up 17.3 per cent over those of the same period last year with a total of 15,817.
Even with a month to go its set fresh figures – the previous best mark being 14,966.
Medium-duty truck sales have been solid throughout 2023 and that trend continued in November with sales well up on the November 2022 result.
Overall, the 755 recorded was up 15.1 percent (99 trucks) over the same month last year. YTD sales in this segment are not quite as strong, however are up on 2022 sales with 7280 trucks delivered to the end of November.
That’s 458 sales ahead of the YTD result in 2022. This is a gain of 6.7 per cent over the same period last year.
“It is pleasing to see the solid sales continue through November, particularly in the heavy-duty truck segment,” said TIC CEO Tony McMullan.
“Year-to-date we are only 734 trucks shy of an all-time new truck sales record here in Australia and with average December sales in the order of 3400 trucks, it very much appears that a new record beckons come the 31st of December.”
With the average age of trucks breaking the 15 year mark in 2021 and with Australia having one of the oldest truck fleets in the western world, the record sales of last year and pending record sales this year, could not be more important, said McMullan.
“An old truck fleet is not good for road safety, nor noxious and greenhouse emissions, or for operator productivity.
“Renewal of our truck fleet can make a significant impact in addressing these safety, environmental and productivity issues.
“However, we need record, or near record, sales to continue for years to come in order to reverse the fleet aging trend that has been apparent in our market for over a decade now. Reducing the national truck fleet age will bring benefits for all road users.”