2013 Truck Sales Off to a Good Start

04 February 2013 | Print

The South African truck market grew by 13.6% during January 2013 and delivered a surprisingly encouraging performance during the first month of the year.

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 for the time being, but Naamsa estimates based on historical trends and forecasting, are included here.)

“Even though there were some expected delays due to the lower level of activity at South African ports over the festive season, most of the industry segments experienced growth during January,” said Jacques Carelse, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. 

When compared to January 2012’s results, the segment for Medium Commercial Vehicles (MCV) increased by 10.6% to 700 units, while the Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) segment grew by 30% to 329 units.  A total of 851 Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle (EHCV) units were sold last month, a 16.6% increase on January 2012’s performance.  Unfortunately, the bus sales of 43 units were a significant 43.4% lower than the segment’s performance during the corresponding period last year.

“The growth experienced during January throughout most of the market is certainly good news and could be an indication that the effects of the Eurozone economic crisis is starting to dissipate slowly,” said Carelse.  “It could also be that vehicles that were delayed at bodybuilders during December were only sold during January, attributing to the month’s strong performance.”

Looking to the year ahead, Carelse said UD Trucks Southern Africa foresees slower sales during the first half of 2013, where after the market is expected to grow at a rate of around 3% during the remainder of the year.  

“Sales could still start to decline as the effect of the revised GDP to 2.9%, the weakening of the Rand and an increase in the fuel price could start taking effect on fleet owners’ propensity to buy.  We do, however, remain hopeful that January’s positive performance will continue throughout the remainder of 2013, enabling the market to reach a forecasted total of around 28 000 units,” concluded Carelse.

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