The Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) segment carried the performance of the local truck industry during April by recording a 9.41% month-on-month growth in sales, to reach 442 units. This brings this segment’s year-to-date sales to 1 745 units, a 9.68% increase over the same period in 2014.
This is according to the latest combined year-to-date results released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors (AAD).
UD Trucks has strengthened its position as the leading HCV manufacturer in South Africa, increasing sales in this segment by 23% so far this year.
“The UD heavy truck range continues to provide fleet owners with economical fuel consumption and gradeability, ensuring that a high average speed is attained to boost productivity. The range’s durability and proven flexibility remain its biggest attributes,” said Rory Schulz, Managing Director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.
The total year-to-date truck market was down 2.01% to 9 455 units due to the many public holidays during April, which occurred against the backdrop of existing challenging market conditions.
Bus sales also powered ahead and have so far recorded a 4.26% growth in year-on-year sales, to reach 367 units at the end of April.
Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle (EHCV) sales have continued to slow down, getting into negative territory for the first time this year at -2.53% YTD (4 078 units). Although still at -7.30% YTD (3 265 units), Medium Commercial Vehicles seem to be in recovery with the YTD figures improving for the fourth successive month.
“The continuing slowdown in the EHCV segment, together with the strong performance of HCVs suggests an emerging buying down trend by fleet owners due to low market confidence and a poor economic climate,” explained Schulz. “The outlook for the rest of the year is moderate, with marginal growth expected, subject to a slight improvement in economic conditions and relative stability in interest rates and labour relations.”