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Truck sales continue to slow

The recent decline in truck sales compared with the same period last year has continued in second month of Q4 according to the official T-Mark figures released for the month of November 2013. The figures show a total truck market of 2,542 sales, a 16.5 per cent drop compared with the November 2012 total of 3,047 units.

This latest result is larger than the single figure drops posted in August, September and October, and with only one month of sales left in 2013, it is now looking unlikely that the Australian truck market for the full year will exceed that for 2012.

The November 2013 cumulative total was 27,979 units, 46 units less than this time last year.

On a year-to-date basis the result represents a slight loss of 0.2 per cent, compared with a 5 per cent gain displayed at the mid-year mark.

The year-to-date figure for November 2013 is 19.2 per cent lower than the equivalent period in the industry’s best ever year of 2007, where the November cumulative tally showed that 34,622 units had been delivered.

The Heavy Duty segment was a significant 24.4 per cent lower than in November 2012, with a total of 909 units sold, compared to 1202 units in 2012.  The first half of 2013 indicated strong positive growth in this segment, however the running tally for this year is now 1.8 per cent (or 185 units) behind that of 2012.  Medium Duty truck sales are down in line with the total market, with November’s total of 533 units being 15.3 per cent lower than November 2012.

The Medium Duty segment, with 6,104 units so far in 2013, has also dropped behind the same period in 2012. November 2013 sales lagged by 67 units compared with 2012, representing a segment drop of 1.1%

The Light Duty truck segment total of 728 units, was down 172 when compared with the November 2012 figures. This represents a Light Duty segment declined of 19.1 per cent for the month, when compared with 2012. This segment is now showing a drop of 3.2 per cent in the year-to-date figures, down a total of 259 units over 2012.  The Light Duty Van segment continues to buck the trend by comparison with the truck segments, posting a November total of 372 sales, which is 17.7 per cent better than November 2012.  The LDV segment growth rate continues to accelerate, and is now at 14.0 per cent in the year-to-date comparison.  With the total 2013 truck market now 46 units behind the same period in 2012, and with the LDV segment recording a 465 unit increase, it is clear to see that light duty vans are playing an increased role in the 2013 freight equation.

Tony McMullan, CEO of Truck Industry Council said: “The November truck sales likely indicate that some companies have put off their vehicle purchasing and investment decisions from latter in 2013, until 2014.

I have not ruled out a resurgence in December though, with potential deliveries of new trucks early in the month to handle the Festive Season freight task. The market is only 46 units behind the same period last year, so the final tally for 2013 will be close to that achieved in 2012. As for 2013 result being up on 2012, it could go either way.”

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