Although truck sales showed year-on-year growth at the end of August, it has been tough going for the local South African commercial vehicle market over the last number of months.
“The economy is being negatively impacted by numerous global and local factors, which of course have an adverse effect on the local truck market,” said Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “We are anticipating a tough couple of months ahead, even though the market has shown some resilience in spite of challenges like currency fluctuations, low business confidence and political uncertainty.”
According to the latest combined year-to-date results released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors (AAD), total commercial vehicle sales has increased by 3.1%, when compared to the first eight months of 2018. This brought the total of new trucks and buses sold in 2019 to 17 919 at the end of August.
Looking more closely at the various segments in a year-on-year comparison, it clear that the Bus segment that is taking the biggest hit. Sales in this segment decreased by 11.8% so far this year to a total of only 570 units. The Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment has declinedby 4.9% year-on-year to 3 345 units, as well as a noticeable drop of 28.5% in monthly sales from July to August 2019.
Even as Passenger Vehicle sales continue to decline, the Medium Commercial Vehicle segment has been buoyant and has recorded a 12.1% growth year-to-date, to reach a total of 5 632 units on 31 August. Sales of Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicles has remained stable and has increased by 2.1% to 8 372 units.
“The local truck market is moving into an interesting era in southern Africa, as we are dealing with a variety of customers who require vehicles that have a range of capabilities and specifications, from the very basic to advanced technology and innovations,” explained Swanepoel. “That leaves truck manufacturers with the challenge to provide smart and modern solutions that our customers need, now and into the future.”
UD Trucks will be one of the exhibitors at the upcoming Futuroad Expo of commercial vehicle manufacturers and will be launching its All-New Quon range of trucks during the show.