The South African commercial vehicle market has recorded a 6,7% month-on-month decrease in sales in July. This brings the year’s new truck sales total to 15 327 units, which is 9,3% down compared to the same period in 2015.
This is according to the latest results released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors (AAD).
“All the segments recorded a single digit drop in sales, mainly due to the many prevailing local economic challenges,” says Gert Swanepoel, acting vice president of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “On the positive side, the pressure on truck and parts importers has lightened a bit with the recent strengthening of the rand, which should translate into marginal cost savings all-round.”
Sales in the medium commercial vehicle (MCV) segment were down 7% on July 2015’s results, to 722 units. The heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) segment logged a 6% drop in sales to 422 units. The extra heavy commercial vehicle (EHCV) segment showed a 6,5% decrease in sales to 1 013 sales, while the bus segment, despite recording a 12% year-to-date growth rate, was 8,1% down in July to 124 units.
According to Swanepoel, UD Trucks predicts that the commercial vehicle market will continue to battle for sales over the remaining five months of 2016.
“A lot of the sales that will be made during the next few months will be due to the larger fleets replacing vehicles that have reached their age and mileage limits,” says Swanepoel. “We forecast that the decline in sales will continue in most market segments, with the various manufacturers competing vigorously for the limited new sales business available out there.”
He says that quality aftersales care remains central to buyers’ decision making when buying a new truck.
“Manufacturers who provide competitive maintenance contracts and extended warranty programmes are becoming more sought-after. A region-wide dealer network is also high on the list, as fleet owners expect support wherever they operate, in order to ensure maximum uptime, as well as increased productivity and profitability of their trucks,” concludes Swanepoel.
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