Slow start for 2014 new truck sales 'not unexpected'

New truck sales figures are well down compared with the same time last year

Slow start for 2014 new truck sales 'not unexpected'
Western Star's sales performance has bucked trend

The new truck market is off to a disappointing start for the new year.

The official Truck Industry Council (TIC) figures for January 2014 show that a total of 1,464 new trucks were sold last month (excluding vans).

This compares with 2,531 sales in December last year and 1,706 last January.

The slow start follows a year when 100 fewer trucks were sold in 2013 compared with 2012.

Truck makers would have been hoping that buyers will not delay vehicle upgrades any longer.

Things were looking up by December with sales numbers just 2 per cent lower than December 2012.

However that promising trend has not continued so far.

The January 2014 sales pecking order for the top seven places is the same as for the overall 2013 result: Isuzu (with 402 units) followed by Hino (249); Fuso (154); Kenworth (110); Iveco (96); Volvo (73) and Western Star (60).

Western Star is the only make to have increased its sales compared with both January 2013 (51 trucks sold) and December 2013 (52).

Other makes with improved sales last month compared with January 2013 at least were Hino (249 versus 242); Iveco (96 versus 53) and Scania (48 versus 29).

Tony McMullan, CEO of Truck Industry Council says, "The result is not that unexpected. The latter part of 2013 saw truck sales decline and what we have seen in January is that trend continuing.

"Some economic indicators are picking up, for instance growth in the building sector late last year was positive and there were relatively strong Christmas retail sales.

"The truck market tends to lag the general economy by three to four months and new housing approvals by around six months, so allowing for this delay, I am quietly confident that we will see stronger truck sales in the months ahead," McMullan says.

"But we are a long way from the growth seen in the peak market years of 2007/2008."

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