Truck sales track tough economic climate in South Africa

THE LOCAL truck industry has recorded its ninth consecutive month of decline during October, despite the market showing some signs of recovery over recent weeks.

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), year-to-date sales have declined by 4.3% and the end of October to reach 25 133 units.

“The decline was recorded across the majority of segments, with Heavy Commercial Vehicles being the only exception with 1.2% year-on-year growth,” said Torbjörn Christensson, President of Volvo Group Southern Africa. “Most of the segments have narrowed their losses, which is a bit of positive news for the industry.”

Sales in the Medium Commercial Vehicle (MCV) segment declined by 5.1% when compared to 2014’s year-to-date performance, to log 8 507 sales. Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicles (EHCV) recorded a 5.2% loss in sales to conclude October on 11 216 units sold so far this year. The Bus segment is taking the biggest hit, with a 10.1% decline in sales and only 908 sales recorded by the end of October.

“We are in for some challenging times ahead, with a range of macroeconomic factors, as well as decade-low business confidence levels, having a negative impact on the South African truck market,” said Christensson.

“In these tough market conditions, it is those truck manufacturers who excel at aftermarket support and quality service who retain customers and ultimately win new business. Literally every sale and every service counts in this extremely competitive environment.”