TIC looks forward to possible record year

Taylor sees possibility of 2007’s record falling

TIC looks forward to possible record year
Phil Taylor has high hopes for 2018


The Truck Industry Council’s prediction that 2007’s commercial vehicles sales record total would be safe last year came to fruition but the peak body is holding out hope for the record to fall this year.

The top result before the end of the so-called "long boom" was in 2007, when the Australian market peaked at 38,131 units, 1,306 or 3.5 per cent higher than this year’s 36,825.

Now TIC president Phil Taylor feels the lingering effects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) are a chance to be surmounted.

"It was pleasing to see that the final quarter of 2017 finished as strongly for new truck sales in Australia as the previous three quarters of the year," Taylor says.

"The light duty truck and van segments finished with record breaking performances for the year, the final quarter and for the month of December 2017. While medium truck sales were solid all year and up over the numbers seen in 2016.

"However, it was the stellar growth in the heavy duty segment that I found most pleasing, building on a strong fourth quarter result way back in 2016, the HD segment really kicked on in 2017 to record its second best sales result in history and the best result in the past decade. These are very positive signs heading into the start of 2018, a year in which we may just see a new overall market sales record."

The TIC notes that vans bounced back in 2017 after recording softer sales in 2016, following its record breaking year of 2015.

In total 5,883 heavy commercial vans were delivered in 2017, up 9.2 per cent (497 sales) over 2016. This was another record for Australian van sales, eclipsing the 2015 mark of 5,515 by 6.6 per cent (368 vans).

December saw stronger than average 2017 sales for the van segment with 499 vehicles delivered, up on December 2016 sales by 19.9 percent (83 vans).

December 2017 sales were also a record, up 13.4 per cent, 59 vans, over the December 2015 segment peak. The 2017 fourth quarter result of 1,535 van sales was also a segment record, 183 vans, or 13.5 per cent, better than the previous best fourth quarter of 2016.

TIC CEO Tony McMullan was particularly struck by the performance of heavy trucks.

"The gain in sales made in the heavy duty segment that was mighty," McMullan says.

"This segment went into 2017 with five consecutive years of negative growth, something that we have never seen before in this market. This made the 2017 heavy duty segment turn-around even more spectacular. TIC members were expecting strong heavy duty sales in 2017, but the end result surpassed everyone’s expectations.

"The results displayed throughout 2017 in all segments, but particularly the HD segment, are reflective of building business confidence.

"If confidence continues to grow in 2018, we can expect to see these upward truck and van sales trends continue, particularly at the heavy duty end of the market, and possibly more records fall in 2018.

"The long standing 2007 market peak could even be within reach this year. With the age of the Australian truck park continuing to grow, further increased sales are required in 2018 and beyond to halt this concerning trend."


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