Market on track for record first half truck sales

Western Star 48X gives way to oncoming traffic.

Another month of solid sales has new truck deliveries poised to rewrite the history books for the first half of the year.

The total Australian new truck market for May 2024 reached 4,528 units, up 6.0 per cent on the same month in 2023.

This result set a new all-time record for May heavy vehicle sales, beating the previous record set last year when 4,270 heavy vehicles were sold.

All segments, except Light Truck, posted positive growth over that of May 2023.

As has been the case throughout 2024, Light Truck sales have struggled to match those of last year.

Year-to-date the result for the total market is tracking above this time last year by 574 vehicles, up 3.1 per cent, with a total of 18,915 heavy vehicles sold to the end of May.

Given that 2023 was a record truck sales year in Australia, signs are, according to the Truck Industry Council, that a new record for the first six months of a year will be set when next month’s June numbers are counted.

As has been the case for all of 2024 to date, the Heavy Duty truck segment continues to perform strongly with growth over 2023 sales. A total of 1,615 HD units were sold in May, up 5.7 per cent, or 65 trucks, over May 2023. Year-to-date, 6,953 heavies have been delivered, up 8.0 per cent (515 trucks) over this time last year.

The Medium Duty segment continues to perform well too, comfortably outselling the corresponding month in 2023 by 91 units, a 9.2 per cent increase.

In total, 750 Medium trucks were delivered in May 2024. With the year-to-date numbers looking equally positive, up a healthy 8.9 per cent (256 trucks) over the same period in 2023. Due to these strong sales over the first five months, a total of 3,150 MD trucks have been delivered year-to-date.

As detailed above, Light Duty Truck sales in 2024 are really struggling, Seemingly not able to keep up the pace of the record sales witnessed for this segment in 2023.

Light Truck sales in May were down by 15.4 per cent over May 2023 with 1,148 “little trucks” being delivered, that was 159 less trucks than May 2023. This takes the year-to-date 2024 Light Truck tally to 5,584, down a significant 1,160 trucks (-17.2 per cent) over the result to the end of May 2023.

Light Duty Van sales were again well into positive territory, up an amazing 67.8 per cent for the month with 856 sales in May 2024. This compares to just 510 sales for the same month in 2023.

Year-to-date 3,228 vans have been delivered thus far in 2024, compared to 2,265 in 2023, a gain of 963 units, up 42.5 per cent year-to-date 2024.

“May was another strong month for heavy vehicle sales with all except the Light Truck segment posting gains over May 2023,” said Tony McMullan, CEO of Truck Industry Council.

“Those weaker than normal Light Truck sales are tempering the overall heavy vehicle sales numbers in 2024, however the market still looks set for a new first half year sales record, with just June sales to come,” he continued.

“The month of June is typically a strong month for trucks sales as we reach the end of our financial year and the signs are all positive that we will reach the halfway point of 2024 with a result that will rewrite the record books for heavy vehicle sales in Australia.

“These strong sales are a good indicator that business confidence remains strong in the road freight sector.”

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