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Isuzu cements heavy-duty status with another big month

For the second straight month in 2022 the manufacturer better known for its leading light- and medium-duty range, is nipping at the heels of perennial heavy-duty market winner Kenworth.

In another buoyant month of sales numbers just released by the Truck Industry Council (TIC), Isuzu notched 177 units in February, 49 shy of Kenworth’s chart-topping 226, but still clear of third-placed Volvo on 161.

That trio has now broken away from a tight cluster of chasers in the year-to-date (YTD) race, with Kenworth now on 376, Isuzu on 304 and Volvo selling 270 units so far in 2022.

The distant pack is headed by Mack (110) in fourth, followed by UD Trucks (109), Scania (99) and Mercedes Benz (94).

Overall, TIC reports that the February result for the heavy-duty segment was very strong, with 1029 units sold, up 27.8 per cent, or 224 units on February 2021.

When compared with 2008’s all-time record numbers, when 1060 trucks were sold, this 2022 result is down by a mere 31 trucks, or just 3 per cent, and marks the second-best February result on record for the segment.

Year-to-date, the heavy-duty segment is tracking a very healthy 26 per cent (365 trucks) above the same period last year.

The total Australian truck market for February reached 2872 units, up 3.7 per cent on the February 2021, however falling well short (145 trucks, about 5 per cent down) of the all-time record for February sales.

TIC CEO Tony McMullan said that that the strong sales start to the year was positive for the road transport sector.

“February truck sales continued to build upon the strong start to the year that we saw in January,” said McMullan.

“It is particularly pleasing to witness the heavy-duty truck segment setting sales at near record levels.

“However, I do caution industry observers from becoming too optimistic, highlighting how supply chain and shipping issues can significantly dampen the source of vehicles very quickly.”

McMullan said the struggles in the light-duty van segment so far in 2022, highlight just how fragile global supply is currently.

“We also must be mindful of escalating world diesel prices and the pending Australian federal election, as being other possible external forces that may dampen the enthusiasm for new truck purchases as we move through the year.”

In other sales results for February, the Isuzu-dominated medium-duty segment also performed well again in with 544 truck deliveries for the month verses 494 units in February 2021, a gain of 10.1 per cent (50 trucks).

The light-duty truck segment set a new sales record for the month of January 2022 and backed that again in February, with the best-ever second month sales result of 1023 units.

With two record months of sales to start the year, 2022 light-duty truck sales are off to a solid start, up 2.9 per cent (51 trucks) over 2021, the previous best start to a year for the segment.

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