April truck sales down in all segments

April truck sales in Australia totaled 2,214 units, according to the Truck Industry Council (TIC) – representing a 7.1 per cent (-169 units) decrease year-over-year.

Sales across the total truck and van market showed that the slow start to the year is continuing, with year-to-date sales down 4.4 per cent (-402 units) over the same period for 2013.

The heavy-duty segment posted 797 sales during April, a slight drop of 2.8 per cent (23 units) over the April 2013 result. However, the segment is down just 0.6 per cent, or 18 trucks, for the first four months of the year compared to 2013, with 3,178 units sold to date in 2014.

Medium-duty truck sales continued to be depressed, down by 15.7 per cent for the month of April (-80 units) when compared with 2013. Just 430 medium-duty trucks were sold in April.

Light-duty truck sales also continued to trend lower, with sales of 651 units for the month, or a nine per cent decrease (-64 units) over April 2013. Year-to-date shows a similar result; the light-truck segment was down 9.8 per cent, with a total of 2,465 sales, 268 behind the tally for the same period in 2013.

For the first time in a while, the light-duty van category saw a loss in sales when compared to the same month in 2013. The loss was only slight though, down 0.6 per cent, or two units. As a result, this one month of reduced sales has not impacted on the year-to date sales performance of the segment, which has posted a total of 1,322 unit sales in 2014 – a healthy 13.3 per cent improvement (+155 vans) over 2013.

Tony McMullan, CEO of the Truck Industry Council, commented, “After a relatively strong March result we were hoping for a strong second quarter, however this now looks unlikely with Q2 off to a poor start.

“These sales figures would appear to reflect the fact that purchase orders placed over the past few months for vehicle deliveries in April, take into account the general mood of business at the time which has been cautious as the economy transitioned from its reliance upon the mining sector.

“Hopefully within the Federal Budget announcement next week there will be incentives for Australian business, particularly in the road transport area, and we will start to see a more positive corporate sector followed by solid economic growth in the second half of 2014”.

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