After a year when there were signs of some changes in the Australian truck market, 2019 ended with the situation where Isuzu and Kenworth are still on top of the rankings. Isuzu came through with 22.7 per cent of all trucks sold in the year, while Kenworth still predominate with 18.5 per cent of heavy duty truck sales, in the Truck Industry Council sales results for 2019.
After selling 2350 Kenworth keeps its place as the heavy duty number one, but Volvo have been snapping at the brand’s heels throughout 2019, coming out with a grand total of 2239 heavy sales for 2019 just 111 trucks behind over the 12 months. In fact, Volvo outsold Kenworth in heavy duty, in May, June, August and September.
Volvo has closed in from 1,088 truck sales in arrears in 2018, although back in a much quieter year, 2016 the end of year number saw Kenworth just 190 trucks ahead. In fact, the lead for Kenworth over Volvo has seen the Paccar-owned brand keep the Swedish company in a perennial second place by around 500 to 1000 trucks for most of the last ten years.
The question is whether the closer numbers from 2019 represent a real structural change in the Australian truck market as operators move across from conventional US trucks to cabover Europeans. Volvo haven’t been the only ones to gain from a change, both Scania and Mercedes Benz have seen substantial increases from historic averages, in recent years.
The jury is still out on this one, and the figures for 2020 will show us just how much sentiment has changed. Kenworth will have more of its T410, T610 style trucks coming through and Freightliner will be pushing the new Cascadia hard. At the same time, the European cohort will be preaching the whole of life costs and low fuel consumption their product can offer.
In the overall Australian truck market, Isuzu Trucks finished 2019 as clear leaders, with 22.7 per cent share of the Australian truck market and a total of 8,621 units sold It also continues to lead the way in the light-duty segment, with 4,207 units sold for 36.6 per cent share and in medium duty, Isuzu Trucks again took line honours, finishing the year with 2,896 units sold for 39.1 per cent share of the market. At the heavy end, Isuzu continues to hold on to third spot, with 1,518 units sold for 11.9 per cent share of the market in which the Kenworth /Volvo tussle was playing out.
On achieving 31 years of market leadership, Isuzu Director and Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Harbison, said, “Off the back of an unprecedented boom in 2018, we continued to strive forward and push our strengths in 2019. I’d like to thank and congratulate our tireless dealer network for their unrelenting efforts.
“As always, it’s their hard work and commitment to the Isuzu product and ethos that keeps us top of mind with Australian customers.”