Slow Start For Truck Sales In 2014 – Outlook Remains Positive

06 February 2014 | Print

The local commercial vehicle market had a somewhat slower start to the year, selling 5.39% less trucks during January compared to the same month in 2013.

The local commercial vehicle market had a somewhat slower start to the year, selling 5.39% less trucksduring January compared to the same month in 2013.

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), a total of 1 861 trucks were sold during January.

“A slight slump in sales was expected as the domestic truck market ended 2013 on such strong footing,” said Jacques Carelse, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “As the year unfolds, we are expecting to see that the strained local economy, as well as the volatile Rand and continuing labour and social unrest, will contribute to a lower growth rate in the industry.”

Looking at the various segment’s performances during January, Medium Commercial Vehicles declined by 1.41% year-on-year to conclude the month on 769 units.  Sales in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment declined by 19.45% to 265 units, while sales in the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment showed a 6.11% decline to 769 units.  Only Bus sales offered some hope, with a 48.72% increase in sales to 58 units, due to the delivery of some Bus Rapid Transit units. 

The lower Rand exchange rate, does however, bode well for vehicle exports, especially into other African countries.  On the other hand, it also means an inevitable hike in truck prices during the next six months.   

The recent dramatic increase in the diesel price is also sure to hit the economy and especially transport operators and ultimately consumers quite hard.

“On the positive side, we believe the Gross Fixed Capital Formation or GFCF, the new value that is added to the economy, is set to increase slightly during 2014 with the main gains coming from several construction and infrastructural projects.  For this reason, although many industry analysts are forecasting a very stagnant local market, we are remaining positive that the market will see growth of around 4% this year,” concluded Carelse.

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