Truck sales year 2019 second best for decade

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  • Plant & Equipment

Huge 2018 total never looked like being headed but 2017 beaten

Hino-1.jpg
Hino is pushing hard in the medium- and light-duty segments

There may have been fewer new commercial vehicles sold last year than the year before but 2019’s totals indicate a market more on a downward glide than falling over a cliff’s edge.

Truck Industry Council (TIC) T-Mark figures for December showed 37,960 went to buyers for the full year, down from 2018’s bumper crop of 41,628 but still a healthy 1,135 units above 2017’s 36,825.

There were some devils in the detail, however.

Isuzu was never going to match 2018’s stunning leap across the range into five figures but that 10,027 slid to 8,621 last year, down 277 on 2017’s total. Month-on-month sales for the market leader, at 634, fell 98 units from November’s 732 and was also below October’s 684.

It’s still "daylight second" but the Hino crowd will be buoyed by its 5,524 lifting market share a full point to 14.6 per cent while shaking off Fuso’s challenge of the past few years – the gap being 2,142 in 2018, from 1,344 in 2017 and 1,076 in 2016. Hino gallops to the finish line lifting its monthly total from 453 in October to 466 in November and 512 in December, the latter figure better also than December 2017’s 447.

HEAVY DUTY

Here, 2019 sales totalled 12,733, down from 2018’s 14,344 to be sure but still up on 2017’s 12,002.

Segment leader Kenworth comes in at 2,350, down on 2018’s 2,946 and just five units short of 2017’s 2,355. Last year’s total means it heads off Volvo’s bragging-rights push by 121 units after losing top monthly spot in May and June.

Kenworth’s segment share also slides 2 per cent from the previous year to 18.5 per cent, some of which Volvo eats, having lifted its yearly total of 2,239 from the mid-1,800s in the previous two years. That said, month on month the big Swede eases off in the last quarter with 211, 196 and 176.

As has been mentioned in earlier months, Scania is also pushing on, reaching four figures, a record 1,140, for the second time in three years, having made 1,003 in 2017. Scania’s month on month for the quarter sees it remain in the 90s.

UD also ends the year creditably, its 451 down on 2017 but up on 2017’s 393 and with the last quarter at 42, 43 and 68.

And a new Western Star can’t come quick enough, with the feted brand on the slide and, at 268 for the year, close to half its 2017 sales of 363.

MEDIUM DUTY

Medium-duty sales people are unlikely to be too despondent as total sales fall from the heady heights of 2018’s 8,210 to 7,411 last year but still ahead of 2017’s 7,312.

The surprise packet here is Hino’s 209 topping Isuzu by eight units in December after falling one unit short in October.

Isuzu did the job for the year, at 2,896 to Hino’s 2,339, but that crown may rest uneasily given 2018 saw that difference at 3,307-2,187 and the previous year at 2,870-2,156.

Fuso seems stuck in a low gear in this segment, indeed in the 80s over the past three months and seven units for the year less than in 2017, while all other makes trod water with double figures or, if they were UD are badly on the slide. UD was at 524 units in 2017and ends last year at 227.

LIGHT DUTY

The light truck performance is the weakest of the past three years at 11,487, down on 2018’s 13,129 and 2017’s 11,628.

Isuzu mirrors this, down to 4,207 from 4,862 and 4,641 counting backwards, with the December figures for each year following suit: 330 from 476 and 367.

Month on month for the last quarter fell from 351 in October to 330 in December.

This is where Hino seeks to make ground, 202 in October to 258 in December. And Hino manages to keep its 2019 above its 2017 2,605-2,302. But such things remain relative and Hino’s annual total is still 1,602 units behind the leader.

 

 

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