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TRUCK sales took a breather in July. Following a more active June, the market’s 19,904 sales represented a modest slowing – down 2.3 per cent – compared with the corresponding month last year and, on a year-to-date basis, is down 3.7 per cent with 157,072 new registrations.

The light-commercial segment posted a 1.9 per cent decline last month compared with July 2018 – 16,710 sales compared to 17,035 – and for the year to date is down 3.5 per cent on 134,989 units.

By comparison, the heavy-commercial sector was a bit weaker, edging down 4.5 per cent in July with 3194 registrations compared to 3344 a year ago. For the year to date, the heavy sector is down 4.5 per cent with 22,083 sales.

Overall, the winners in July were International with a 150 per cent increase in July 2019 sales over July last year, pushing its sales up 13.8 per cent YTD. Dennis Eagle followed with an 88.9 per cent surge last month, handing it a 40 per cent increase for the first seven months combined.

There was also good news for Scania – up 50.8 per cent in July and now 26.2 per cent YTD – and DAF, which rose 51.5 per cent in July, placing it 1.2 per cent ahead YTD.

On the other side of the register, Fuso was down 38 per cent in July (-9.7% YTD), Iveco fell 31.5 per cent (-13.2% YTD), Mercedes was off 31.1 per cent (-6.7% YTD), Western Star dropped 17.9 per cent (-17.6% YTD) and Kenworth was down 14.2 per cent (-13.5% YTD).

Even the market leader Isuzu saw sales down 7.9 per cent in July, placing it 7.8 per cent behind in YTD terms.

Hino is treading water with a 1.7 per cent fall in July and sales for this year up 1.0 per cent on the same period in 2018.

The light-delivery players slipped with Toyota down 7.4 per cent in the month but unable to dent its 29.9 per cent stake in the segment. Ford came in second with a 19.9 per cent share but no-one else was in double digits.

Winners included Hyundai with a 38.4 per cent gain for the month, reducing its YTD downturn to 3.6 per cent, and Renault that was up 26.6 per cent in July (-5.0% YTD), with good returns also from LDV which rose 14 per cent for the month (+16.1% YTD) and Mitsubishi which climbed 7.5 per cent but is down 6.2 per cent YTD.

Rocket of the month award goes to Ram, which upped its locally remanufactured model range and is also clearly benefiting from the extra production coming out of the Melbourne factory, with a 605.4 per cent increase in July which takes its sales up 905.8 per cent for the year.

In the negative were Volkswagen which was down 28.2 per cent in July (-10.5% YTD), Nissan (-8.1% in July, 14.3% YTD) and Fiat Commercial (-50.0% in July, 21.6% YTD), followed by Citroen (-63.0% in July, -21.9% YTD) as the French brand’s local distributor runs out Berlingo in preparation for the changeover to Peugeot as the PSA Group turns to the lion brand for its fresh LCV assault.

By Neil Dowling

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