A final-quarter sales surge by Kenworth has seen the Bayswater badge pip Volvo for supremacy in the heavy-duty truck sector for 2023.
Volvo had the perennial market leader on the ropes for much of the year, but an impressive 409 deliveries by Kenworth in December sealed the overall honours, 177 clear of the Wacol-based powerhouse which notched 339 units in the final month.
According to the latest figures released by the Truck Industry Council, Kenworth ended the year with 3653 trucks delivered with Volvo on 3476, which represents a 20.8 per cent and 19.8 per cent market share, respectively.
Although pipped at the line, Volvo still sold 937 more trucks than it did in 2022 and increased its market share by 2.8 per cent.
Australia’s biggest-selling truck brand Isuzu rounded out the top three ‘heavies’ with 220 for the month and a year-ending total of 2393, not bad for a manufacturer that still doesn’t have a prime mover available here.
There was a distant gap back to fourth-placed Scania with 133 units in December and 1383 for the year, then a cluster of the chasers, headed by Mack on 1097.
The heavy-duty sector amassed 1752 sales for the month, up a healthy 271 units, or 18.3 per cent, over December 2022.
The segment also set a new fourth-quarter record of 4917 deliveries, up 538 trucks, or 12.3 per cent, over the old mark set in 2022.
Overall, the heavy-duty 2023 annual tally of 17,569 was another record-setter, up 2603 trucks on the previous best of 14,966 set in 2022.
Heavy-duty trucks now make up the largest slice of the overall truck and van market in Australia, leapfrogging over the ‘lights’.
Across the board, there was plenty to celebrate for manufacturers.
Buoyed by the massive demand for heavy-duty trucks, total truck and van sales set a new record of 47,757 units in 2023, up 3378, or 7.6 per cent on the 2022 mark.
TIC CEO Tony McMullan said it was pleasing to see such strong truck sales continue in 2023.
“It was equally pleasing to see annual new truck and van sales approaching the 50,000 mark,” McMullan said.
“The 40,000 barrier was only broken relatively recently in 2018 and despite the Covid supply chain disruptions, new truck sales in Australia have remain strong.
“The 2023 result of 47,757 sales has surpassed industry expectations, particularly given the 2023 mid-year end of the temporary full expensing tax measures put in place during Covid.”
McMullan, however, said the TIC and its members remain concerned that the average age of the Australian truck fleet appears to remain much older than that of Europe and North America.
“An old truck fleet is not conducive to improved safety, public health and environmental outcomes for our society.
“Moving into 2024, we must consider what more can be done by both industry and particularly government, to reduce the age of our nation’s truck fleet,” McMullan concluded.