Truck market holds its head high?

Truck market holds its head high?

The local commercial vehicle industry managed to deliver positive month-on-month sales results during May … April, however, had a high number of holidays – so how is the commercial vehicle industry really faring?

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), a total of 2 477 units were sold during May.  This was an 8,62 percent increase on April 2014’s results, but down 3,66 percent on May 2013’s total sales.

Jacques Carelse, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa, comments: “Factoring in a number of macroeconomic indicators; such as a volatile rand, high inflation and possible interest rate increases, we are very pleased that the South African truck market is holding its own amidst very tough market conditions.”

He continues: “With a positive first quarter behind us, we remain optimistic in our outlook of the market for the rest of the year, and still predict growth in total truck sales by the end of 2014.”

The medium commercial vehicle (MCV) market, however, experienced its fifth consecutive monthly decline – settling at 798 units, which is 17,73 percent down from May 2013’s results.

“Negative growth in gross domestic product, a decline in the purchasing managers’ index and a rise in producer inflation, are currently all having a negative impact on new vehicle sales, and especially on the MCV market segment,” says Carelse.

The heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) segment declined by 6,46 percent, compared to May 2013, but not all the segments showed negative results. Using the same comparison, the extra-heavy commercial vehicle (EHCV) market increased by 4,86 percent and buses experienced an amazing 82,76 percent boom in sales – mainly due to a number of large bus rapid transit (BRT) tender sales that have been recorded.

This builds on the positive numbers that these two segments have shown for 2014 thus far, as EHCV sales increased by 7,06 percent and buses by 15,95 percent from January this year.

“We are expecting the difficult trading conditions to continue over the short term, but we believe the truck market will end the year in the black with a total of around 30 000 units,” concludes Carelse.

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