The latest figures, released this week by the Truck Industry Council, tell us that 2020 saw strong sales though the pandemic, as the demand for many road transport services pushed demand for new trucks, in certain sectors.
The overall number of trucks sold in 2020 was 34,476. This is down on the 37,960 sold in 2019, and well down on the freak record breaking number of 41,628 set in 2018, but higher than the number sold in 2016, 32, 964. The long term general upward trend in truck sales continues. Ten years ago the total market was 29,393.
The heavy duty market saw an early wobble for Kenworth, as Volvo out sold the Paccar brand for a few months earlier in the year. However, with production reorganised, the plant in Bayswater has been pumping them out in the last few months of the year, with Kenworth selling a whopping 326 in December, to end the year 374 truck sales ahead of its nearest rival.
The light duty truck market had a relatively buoyant 2020, with local door to door delivery keeping up strong sales though the pandemic. The figure for 2020, at 11,018 for the year, is just 469 down on 2019. Isuzu sales in light duty had a strong 2020, with the Japanese truck maker falling just short of 40 per cent market share. Fuso also managed to increase market share, bringing it back back up over 18 per cent, after slipping down in 2019.
In the medium duty segment uncertainty seems to have pushed more sales in the direction of the three dominant brands, all Japanese, Isuzu, Hino and Fuso. All three of these truck makers increased market share over 2020, with the three of them controlling 90.9 per cent of the market.
Looking at the overall truck market and comparing the number to those released at the end of 2010, one trend comes through clearly, the drift away from conventional US trucks towards European cabover product.
Western Star, Mack and Freightliner sold fewer trucks in 2020 than in 2010, while, at the same time, Scania, DAF, Mercedes Benz and MAN have all grown in the market. The two strongest of these growth patterns saw Scania sell 886 compared with 373 in 2010, and DAF rise from 215 truck sales to 503 over the last ten years.