Numbers rise amidst wobbly market

THE YEAR to Date (YTD) Isuzu Trucks volume has increased by 20% in the same period for 2014, while the truck market has declined by 5%. Isuzu Trucks’ full-year share in 2014 was 12.9%, and this has increased to 13.3%, with April/May figures averaging 15.5% and June demonstrating a 2.2% increase to finish at 17.7%.

The truck industry expected 2015 to be a year of many positives with lower fuel prices, while operating costs have been a great concern, including e-tolls, utilities and a variety of associated costs. The big question is how will the economy fare with these variables?

The overall truck market has lost ground, resulting in a -5% growth YTD. The Medium Commercial and Extra Heavy Commercial markets have declined by 7.5% and 7.3% respectively, while the Heavy Commercial segment has grown 5.5% so far to date, with the bus market flat lining at this point in time.

“A particular concern has been the rapid decline in the truck market in the last three months. This suggests the market outlook of 32,000 units at the start of the year, with approximately 2% growth, may only achieve 29,000 units by year end. This equates to more than the current 5% decline. We seem to be entering the end of a year growth cycle that started in 2009,” forecasts Isuzu Truck South Africa Chief Operating Officer, Craig Uren.

During the course of quarter three, Isuzu Truck SA is expected to achieve a milestone of 30,000 units produced in at the Port Elizabeth plant since the formation of the Isuzu Truck South Africa Company in 2007. The first two quarter volumes and results for Isuzu Truck South Africa have notably been painting a good picture.

“If we are to preserve employment in a period where the economic pressures in our country continue to be a challenge on business and consumers, a very realistic approach to the market expectations for 2015 and 2016 is needed to plan the assembly operations in our industry,” concludes Uren.