Tough Economic Conditions Drive Lower Truck Sales in September

30 October 2012 | Print

The local commercial vehicle industry experienced a challenging sales month in September, with all segments recording a decline in sales. The total truck market declined by 10.26% when compared to September 2011, to reach a total of 2 289 units.

This is according to the latest combined results* released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors (AAD).  *(Mercedes-Benz South Africa is only reporting aggregated sales data but Naamsa estimates based on historical trends and forecasting, are included here.)

“As the truck market’s performance is so closely linked to the broader macro-economic environment of South Africa, it is understandable that the market recorded a decline in sale,” said Jacques Carelse, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “For instance, the recent drop in business confidence as in part a result of on-going industrial action in various industries, has had a very direct impact on the propensity of fleet owners to buy new trucks.”

Carelse also said that the crisis in the Euro Zone, as South Africa’s largest trading partner, is also continuing to have an adverse effect on the local economy.

Year-on-year statistics showed that sales in the Medium Commercial Vehicle segment declined by 8.6% to 779 units, while the Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment declined by 3% to 448 units.  The Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment experienced a 9.10% drop in sales to 1 026 units, while Bus sales continued its downward trend with a 14.8% decline in sales to reach 69 units.

However, Carelse remains positive about the industry’s outlook over the short to medium term.

“We are still anticipating a total market of between 27 500 and 28 00 units for the year,” said Carelse.  “With numerous major infrastructural developments planned by Government over the next number of years, we remain optimistic about the positive effect this will have on the South African truck industry.”

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