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Tough time for truck sales in 2017

South Africa’s 2017 truck sales are much weaker than expected with the local truck market lagging 2.9% behind the sales recorded during the corresponding period last year.   

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).

A total of 24 201 trucks has so far been sold this year and with only one month of sales left in 2017, the industry will battle to surpass the forecasted 27 000 units by the end of the year according to Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.

“The local industry held up remarkably well despite South Africa’s stagnant economy, credit downgrades and prevailing political uncertainty,” says Swanepoel.

November sales

Looking at November’s sales in isolation, the Medium Commercial Vehicle segment was 16.7% down on November 2016’s performance, to 688 units.  The Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment was slightly down by 1.7%, to conclude the month on 471 units.

Sales in the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle Segment increased by 2.2% year-on-year to 1 103 units.  The Bus segment had a stellar month with a 43.9% increase in sales to 82 units, as some significant contracts were concluded in anticipation of the upcoming summer holiday season.

“Good sales results in the Bus and Extra Heavy segments show that companies are still willing to invest in new assets, especially leading into the New Year,” Swanepoel notes.

“Sales in industry segments like mining and construction have picked up over the last quarter or so, which is reflected in the positive sales results in especially the Extra Heavy segment.”

Patience on the road

As 2017 comes to an end, transporters will be especially busy during the upcoming holiday season.

“With traffic set to increase significantly during the holiday season, trucks are often seen as a nuisance on the road.  However, trucks are key to the economy and to keep the wheels of industry turning,” said Swanepoel.  “Road users are encouraged to apply patience, logic and consideration when passing trucks on the road, for the safety of all!”

 

 

 

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