Heavy commercials only bright spot in July

THE GROWTH in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment was the only bright spot in the performance of the South African truck market during July.

Sales in this segment has grown 4.4% so far this year to 3 045 units, with UD Trucks once again claiming the top spot with a 27% market share.

According to the July sales results released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors (AAD), the SA commercial vehicle market recorded a 4.7% decline in sales year-to-date, totalling 16 938 units.

The Bus segment reported a second successive month of decline on the back of a year and a half period of consecutive growth due to the implementation of various Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) projects. Sales were 5.6% down on a year-to-date basis, bringing 2015’s total to 640 units so far.

Although both Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicles (EHCVs) and Medium Commercial Vehicles (MCVs) showed some improvements on June’s sales performance, both are still lagging behind in year-on-year sales.

EHCV sales have declined by 7.1% when compared to the same period from 2014, to 7 505 units. Sales in the MCV segment were 5.8% down on a year-to-date basis to 5 748 units.

“The market remains under immense pressure,” said Rory Schulz, Managing Director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “On the positive side, there are some visible signs of stabilisation with a slight improvement in the month-on-month rate of decline.”

Schulz said that the outlook for the remainder of the year remains rather negative as factors such as a low business confidence and slow economic growth within South Africa are continuing to put a damper on commercial vehicle sales.

“Despite the challenging sales climate, we remain committed to the success of our customers’ businesses. Our dealers across the southern and eastern Africa region are continuing to provide fleet owners with quality aftermarket support in order to get the best lifecycle costs for every UD truck on the road, as we know every Rand counts,” concluded Schulz.