Fears that the Australian economy is not moving ahead, as it should, sees truck sale figures in 2020 start with low expectations. The latest truck sales figures have just been released by the Truck Industry Council and show the year is going to be starting off from a low base.
Total truck sales are down 15.7 per cent on January last year. Heavy duty numbers are even worse, with a drop of 23.5 per cent. In fact, numbers are down in every market segment when comparing January 2020 with January 2019.
The average monthly sales numbers in 2019 were 3163 trucks sold. With the first month of 2020 coming in at just 1852, truck sales are going to have to ramp up quickly to even get close to last year’s results. January is traditionally a slow month for truck sales. The beginning of the year has also seen a great deal of disruption across the country as the bushfire crisis has played out in many areas.
The disruption to the heavy duty market has seen all truck brands take a substantial hit in numbers compared to the monthly averages achieved in 2019. For Kenworth this means the 117 sales in January 2020 is well below the average of 196 truck achieved in 2019. For Mack Trucks the comparison is much starker when you see last year’s average of 87 trucks a month up against less than half, at 35 trucks, in January 2020.
The fact that the distinct falls in trucks sales is across the board and no brand has remained unaffected tells us the ongoing disaster of this Australian summer has disrupted and distorted the truck market figures at the start of 2020.
We can be certain that once the disruption reduces the truck sales numbers will pick back up to more normal levels. However, past experience has shown that when events outside the trucking industry effect sales numbers, the recovery never quite makes up the lost sales.
As a result of seeing 2020 start with low expectations, we can be pretty certain that very few truck sales records will be broken this year, after such a slow weather affected beginning.