Improved light truck sales a positive sign

By: Greg Bush

Light trucks, helped by tax incentives, received a boost in December, while heavy truck sales still wane

January 11, 2009

Improved business confidence and growing pressure to upgrade fleets will help drive a steady rebound in general vehicle sales over 2010 according to a leading industry group.

Nick Johnson, who heads leading fleet solutions company FleetPartners, said a 48.5 percent rise in light truck sales during December was among the positive signs for the industry in Australia.

"While Federal Government tax incentives have helped drive sales of light commercial vehicles and light trucks, we are seeing a generalised pick up in orders across most fleet sectors," Johnson says.

However, he says it’s not all good news for road transport sales.

"The notable exception is heavy vehicles like earth movers and yellow goods where sales continue to decline in the face of the credit crisis and weaker international conditions."

Johnson says the VFACTs data accorded with FleetPartners’ internal economic modelling which showed considerable pent-up demand among fleet buyers.

"During the downturn many businesses opted to play it safe by extending their lease terms or delaying upgrading their fleet vehicles. This has resulted in considerable pentup demand."

"Renewed investment in fleet vehicles will be a key driver of total vehicle sales and industry confidence this year," Johnson says.

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