UD Trucks

SA Truck Sales Continue to Climb

12 May 2011 | Print

The South African truck market is continuing to perform above market expectations, recording a 22.5% growth to reach 1 925 units during April.

The South African truck market is continuing to perform above market expectations, recording a 22.5% growth to reach 1 925 units during April.

This is according to the latest figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), which includes sales numbers provided by Associated Motor Holdings and AAD.

“The truck market has regularly established itself well above the 2 000 unit mark per month since October 2010,” said Johan Richards, chief executive of UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “This continued strong performance of the market is sure to cause some fears regarding the sustainability of this momentum, although current short-term forecasts for the next two months still supports a monthly market of above 2 000 units.”

Richards attributes some of the April market’s boost in sales due to some pre-emptive buying by customers who fear that some stock shortages might occur due to the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan. 

In a year-on-year comparison, sales in the Medium Commercial Vehicle Category increased by 8.2% to 565 units.  The Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment saw an increase of 32.6% to reach 395 units, while the sales of Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicles increased by 47.4% to 889 units.  Bus sales were down 49% to a more customary level of 76 units, considering that this segment gained considerable sales before the start of the Soccer World Cup last year.

“This performance of the commercial vehicle market is commendable, especially in light of the fact that local business confidence declined on concern that global economic growth will be lower than expected this year,” said Richards. 

Truck exports were up by 72% to 119 units during April, although year-to-date sales were down by 24.3% to 222 units.

“At the moment, South African truck manufacturers are facing huge challenges with exports into African countries, as numerous Chinese role players have entered these territories with aggressive export campaigns,” said Richards.

Prospects for the remainder of the year remain positive, with a total truck market figure of around 25 200 expected at the end of 2011, compared to the 22 022 units achieved last year.

“Trends over the past couple of years have shown quite irregular buying cycles due to the global recession, but we are expecting the market to continue its upward trend, especially over the short term,” said Richards.

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