Trucks Sales Buck Economic Trends to Continue on Growth Path

02 June 2013 | Print

Sales in the local truck market performed according to industry forecasts and continued its steady growth in May despite a bigger-than-expected slowdown in South Africa’s economic growth.

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). 

May’s commercial vehicle sales (excluding light commercials) increased by 5.23% when compared to the corresponding month’s results in 2012, to a total of 2 677 units.

“Last month’s sales results were once again an encouraging sign that the market could still conclude 2013 in the positive,” said Jacques Carelse, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “However, the new truck market faces multiple challenges such as the risk of an increase in inflation, a volatile Rand exchange rate, renewed labour unrests and a general drop in the economic growth forecast of the country.”

Breaking the results down into the various segments, it is clear that the so called bread and butter portion of the market, namely Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV), fared the best with a significant 20.8% increase in sales to reach a total of 483 units. 

Carelse said the growth in this segment can mainly be attributed to a number of big deals and tenders concluded by various OEMs during the month.

Medium Commercial Vehicles (MCV) experience a very slight decline of 0.3% to 961 units, while the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle (EHCV) segment increased by 12% to 1 175 units.  Bus sales slumped to 58 units during May – a 55.7% decline but the segment is expected to rebound as the various Rapid Bus Transport systems are implemented.

“With the year coming to its half-way mark in June, we should by then have a better indication of what sales will do towards the end of the year.  One also has to keep in mind that we are now entering what is traditionally the best sales months for the truck industry every year, and it will be interesting to see what impact the local economic indicators will have on fleet owners’ propensity to buy,” explained Carelse.

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