The South African truck market has continued to show resilience against the backdrop of low economic growth, interest rates hikes and inflationary pressures. Although the total sales for September have shown a slight 2.80% decline on the previous month’s results, the year-to-date figures have been more positive, growing 1.54% to a total of 23 347 units.
This is according to the latest combined results released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors (AAD).
“The growth in new truck sales was achieved on the back of above average growth in the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle and Bus segments,” explains Rory Schulz, acting managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “The strength in EHCV sales, together with the improved business confidence index reported in August, have certainly been encouraging and point to an improvement in investor sentiment.”
During September, both the EHCV and Bus segments continued to impress, growing 8.67% and 14.90% on a year-to-date basis, and concluding the month on 10 540 and 902 units respectively.
On the other hand, Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle sales both declined over the course of the year when compared to the same period in 2013. The MCV segment lost 6.64% to stand at 7 997 units at the end of September 2014 and HCV ended the period on 3 908 units, a slight 0.91% decline.
“The outlook for the rest of the year is cautious but optimistic, with possible interest rates hikes and vehicle price increases expected to contribute to a difficult trading environment,” says Schulz. “However, the industry’s resistance despite these challenging conditions is also a true testament to the character and resilience of all involved in trucking.”
On the performance of UD Trucks, Schulz says the company has experienced three good quarters so far this year growing overall sales by 5.8% compared to the 1.54% rate of the total market.
‘Our Quon range has continued to make big inroads in the market growing 25.56% year-to-date while our MCV range – which is currently in its run-out year – also experienced a growth spurt of 4.88% on a year-to-date basis,” he says.