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Truck sales stronger than expected in challenging year

truck sales

Total heavy vehicle sales for the month of November finished at 3,174 new deliveries, up 3 per cent (94 trucks) compared with the same period last year.

While the overall market is tracking over 10 percent down over last year, and 18.8 percent down on the record sales of 2018, the 2020 numbers have been better than anticipated, given how COVID-19 lockdowns, border closures and the second wave impacts in Victoria have ravaged our Australian economy.

The Heavy Duty Truck segment continues to experience the greatest year-on-year slowdown of all of the heavy vehicle sectors, having been hit the hardest by slowing sales in quarters one and two, when business confidence “fell off a cliff” due to COVID-19.

However, the segment has clawed back some of those lost sales in the second half of 2020 and that continued, ever so slightly, in November.

Kenworth solidified its lead in the segment with 242 deliveries for the month, and now sits on a YTD of 1788, safely out of reach of nearest challenger Volvo, which recorded 147 sales in November and now tallies 1609 for the year.

The biggest moves for the month came in the Medium Duty sector with Hino beating Isuzu – 213 vs. 202 – after trailing by nearly 100 trucks in October.

The Light Duty Truck sales were again in positive territory in November, when compared with November 2019 sales, with 1,015 trucks sold for the month, 69 more little trucks than for the same month last year.

Tony McMullan, CEO of Truck Industry Council, the peak industry body for truck manufacturers and importers in Australia, noted that overall truck sales were stronger than expected.

“The positive upward trend in new truck sales witnessed in October across the Light Truck and Van segments has continued into November. Whilst the Heavy Duty Truck sector results were lineball with November 2019 sales,” he said.

“Importantly for the Heavy segment, November marked the fourth consecutive period of month-on-month sales growth, with sales since July showing a positive, constant, upward trend. The Medium Truck segment continues to struggle in 2020, however October and now November sales, have improved significantly and were well up on the Medium Duty sectors 2020 year-to-date average.”

McMullan said the council would like to thank the federal government for the economic stimulus packages it provided throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, the original instant asset write-off and accelerated depreciation schemes, enacted in March 2020, greatly assisted the heavy vehicle sector and no doubt many other industries too, he said.

“The recently announced, October 2020, extension of the instant asset write-off scheme and the removal of the $150,000 cap, will further stimulate our economy and no doubt heavy vehicle sales, throughout 2021 and well into 2022,” McMullan concluded.

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