Truck sales records tumble in June

Further proof of a booming new heavy vehicle sales market has seen several records broken in Australia.

In June, the total number of heavy vehicles, Light Duty Trucks and Vans, Medium Duty Trucks and Heavy Duty Trucks sold was 4,987 units, according to the Truck Industry Council (TIC).

This total surpassed the previous best monthly high of 4,741 set last year.

It was only in June 2018 that the 4,000 sales mark, in a single month, was broken for the first time and now just four years on, sales have almost broken through the 5,000 barrier.

Prior to 2018 the best sales month was shared by June 2007 and June 2009 when 3,718 new heavy trucks were sold.

June 2007 was of course pre-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) with both the economy and truck sales flourishing, while the 2009 result was buoyed by then Labor Federal Government GFC incentives that saw a spike in sales at the end of the financial year, in what was, otherwise, quite a forgettable year for new truck sales.

The current Federal Government COVID instant asset right-off incentive, put in place by the previous Coalition Government, is helping to stimulate sales in 2022.

The second record broken in June was that of new Heavy Duty truck deliveries with 1,594 units sold for the month, breaking the previous record of 1,433 set in June 2018.

Light Duty truck sales represented the category that had the third record broken, with 1,751 units sold.

This eclipses the previous record of 1,620 set in June 2021.

Finally, the overall half year result for calendar year 2022 was also a new record with this year’s January to June result breaking the previous mid-year peak of 19,970 sales set in 2018, by 917 heavy vehicle sales.

Year-to date in 2022, 20,887 heavy vehicles have been delivered.

The Heavy Duty truck segment has again performed strongly in June with 1,594 HD deliveries, up 16.0 per cent (220 trucks) over the same month in 2021.

Looked at, in isolation, Q2 2022 verified the sterling shape of the HD sector, with 3,904 sales for April to June, up on the second quarter 2021 result by a significant 551 trucks (14.1 per cent).

In terms of a first half year result, Heavy Duty trucks sales are in a much better place in 2022, 6,916 sales versus 5,790 sales to the end of June 2021, an improvement of 19.5 per cent (1,126 additional Heavy truck registrations).

To almost crack the 5,000 mark for sales in a single month is a fantastic result for the industry according to TIC CEO Tony McMullan.

“This capped off a great second quarter result and combined with solid first quarter sales, finds the market at record levels at the half way point of the year,” he said in a statement.

“However, while truck sales remain at record levels, the van segment is a reminder of the fragility of the market’s ongoing supply chain issues that could potentially affect the truck sector too,” said McMullan.

Indeed the Van segment continues to struggle with June Light Duty Van sales (vans with a GVM between 3,500 kg and 8,000 kg) well down over 2021 June results.

Only 645 LD Vans were delivered for the month, a significant decrease of  29.4 per cent (-268 vans) over June 2021.

LD Vans posted a total of 1,558 sales for the second quarter months of April to June, significantly down, -45.6 percent (-711 vans) over the same quarter in 2021, where 2,269 vans were sold.

At the half way point of the year, the Van tally stands at just 2,493 units, trailing well behind (-33.0 per cent) 2021 sales. That is 1,230 fewer Van sales year-to-date in 2022.

The Medium Duty segment has proven to be a surprise category for sales so far in 2022 with strong growth over 2021.

June was another strong month for the segment with 997 MD trucks delivered last month, up 19.5 per cent (163 trucks) over June 2021. The overall April to June remains strong with 2,310 Mediums delivered in quarter two 2022, compared to 2,075 for the same period in 2021, running 10.2 per cent above 2021 levels.

Year-to-date Medium Duty truck sales are performing very well with 3,961 deliveries to the end of June 2022, up 12.0 per cent (424 trucks) on the 2021 half year result.

Light Duty truck sales (trucks with a GVM between 3,500 kg and 8,000 kg), registered deliveries of 1,751 LD trucks for the month, up a healthy 8.1 per cent (131 vehicles) over June 2021 — itself a previous benchmark for the month of June.

The 2022 quarter two result was also strong for LD trucks with 4,298 trucks sold, up 399 units (9.3 per cent) over the second quarter 2021 result of 3,899 deliveries. For the first half year 7,517 Light Duty truck have been delivered, comfortably ahead of the same period in 2021 by 9.4 per cent, 647 trucks.

Despite the record results across the three truck categories McMullan cautioned against unrealistic expectations for truck sales given the strong headwinds ahead for the economy.

He said rising inflation and interest rates would likely slow spending and tighten the borrowing capacity of some organisations.

“I certainly hope that sales in the second half of 2022 continue apace and that the 2018 sales mark can be surpassed, though that is not guaranteed by any means at this point in time.” concluded McMullan.

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