Truck sales down

The seventh month of the year saw the commercial vehicle market experience negative growth in all three truck sub-segments of the market.

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).

Looking at the domestic and export year-on-year sales for July, medium commercial vehicle sales declined by 6.01%, the heavy commercial vehicle segment by 2.02% and the extra heavy commercial vehicle segment by 1.7%.

UD Trucks Southern Africa MD Gert Swanepoel says, “We continue to believe that extensive effort by business to uphold confidence has ensured that even though the results remained negative, the losses were relatively small.”

The total market loss so far this year, compared to the same period in 2016, is only 3.6%, with a total of 14 853 trucks and buses sold locally.

“We still look at politics, the policy environment and the global market all having a negative impact on the local truck market,” says Swanepoel. “However, we are expecting a good result from the agriculture segment due to better production conditions, and increased demand for commodities from the USA and China should also boost our local economy somewhat.”

UD Trucks is also looking forward to when the construction industry’s growth gets back on track, which should lead to increased sales in construction-related vehicles such as tippers and cement mixers.

“We will wait in anticipation for the official release of the second quarter’s economic results, but indicators are that we only experienced a so-called technical recession, so conditions are certainly looking slightly more favourable,” says Swanepoel. “It is up to businesses and the truck industry as a whole to seize every opportunity out there and to contribute to the expansion of the economy as much as possible.”