Truck market back in the black

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With 2014 racing towards its conclusion, trucks sales remained solid during October, recording a gutsy 4.7% month-on-month growth to record 2 876 sales.

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), that means that the truck market is now 2.09% up on 2013’s year-to-date results over the same period.

“As has been the case for most of the year, the growth was achieved on the back of impressive results in the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle and Bus segments,” said Rory Schulz, acting managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.

EHCV grew 6.84% for the month resulting in a 9.02% year-to-date growth, to reach a total of 11 833 units so far in 2014. Ae strong recovery in Heavy Commercial Vehicles has emerged, showing positive year-to-date growth for the first time in five months at 1.09% (4 448 units). Sales in the Medium Commercial Vehicle segment, however, declined by 6.51% over the first ten months of 2014, to 8 942 units.

Although Bus has declined by 5.13% during October, the segment’s year-to-date growth is at an impressive 15.15% to reach a total of 1 011 units.

When one breaks down the month’s sales statistics, the top growth sub-segments in the EHCV segment were heavy construction, inter-regional and long-haul. These results can be attributed to a recovering economy and the development of several key infrastructure projects.

In addition, the Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) recovered to 50.8 in September, and to 51.8 in October. “This was the first time that the PMI rose above 50 in five months, and another indication that there is an expansion in manufacturing activity following months of weakness. This also ties in with the HCV segment’s performance, which has reported two successive growth months in September and October,” said Schulz.

“While the current difficult trading conditions are expected to persist in the short term, the truck market has continued to outperform expectations and is likely to achieve moderate growth on 2013’s sales results.”

UD Trucks rallied during October to sell a total of 399 vehicles – the brand’s best performance since August 2008. On a year-to-date basis, UD Trucks achieved a 10.97% growth during October, easily outperforming the market’s 2.09% increase for total trucks sold.

In the process, UD Trucks managed to reclaim the top position in the HCV segment by growing sales by an impressive 41.74% on the previous month, which resulted in a significant 30.7% market share. The company’s EHCV Quon sales also grew by a significant 32.07% on a year-to-date basis.

“Models like our Quon GW26 450 are performing exceptionally well, and is testament to our philosophy of having the right trucks available for the current market and local operational conditions,” said Schulz. “We are looking forward to continued success in the market by constantly interacting with our customers and providing them with smart and modern transport solutions going into the future.”



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Issue 42