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SA Truck Industry Battles Tough Market Conditions

08 August 2014 | Print

“As has been the case over the past year, external factors such as slow economic growth, widespread labour unrest.."

The South African truck industry continued to battle tough trading conditions during July, as month-on-month sales dropped by 9.12% to 2 622 units.  However, the industry is still ahead of 2013’s year-to-date sales, albeit slightly, with a 0.56% growth percentage to conclude the first seven months of the year on 17 760 units. 

“As has been the case over the past year, external factors such as slow economic growth, widespread labour unrest, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures, continue to dampen growth in the local truck market,” said Jacques Carelse, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “Against this backdrop, truck sales have been flat, with results across the different segments largely mixed to negative.”

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), only the Bus and Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle (EHCV) segments are growing so far this year.

The year-to-date figures show that Bus sales, which come from a low base in 2013, are currently up by a significant 17.63% to 674 units.  The EHCV segment is continuing its strong run with a significant credible 8.9% increase to 8 087 units.

However, sales in the Medium Commercial Vehicle segment are 8.18% lower at 6 087 units, while the Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) segment is down by 3.99% to 2 912 units. 

“Unfortunately, we remain cautious in our outlook for the remainder of the remainder of the year and expect some above-inflation vehicle price increases from some manufacturers,” said Carelse.

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