The first three months of calendar year 2022 saw record, or near record, new truck sales that have come together to produce a new first quarter heavy vehicle mark in Australia.
Year-to-date, a total of 8,817 trucks and vans have been delivered in Australia, up 5.9 per cent, for an increase of 492 units over this time last year.
It also eclipses the previous all-time sales record set in quarter one 2018 where 8,675 trucks were sold in January through to March, by 142 vehicles, a 1.6 per cent increase.
In isolation, the month of March 2022, in which 3,797 heavy vehicles were delivered to customers, represented an increase of 239 trucks (6.7 per cent) over March 2021.
The leader of this growth has been at the Heavy end of the market, with both Heavy and Medium Duty sectors showing strong growth, up 23.6 per cent and 12.9 per cent respectively, at the end of the first quarter.
Over the same period Light Duty truck sales are up by 8.4 per cent, however Van sales are significantly down in 2022, at the end of quarter one -35.7 per cent lower than the same time in 2021.
The Heavy Duty Truck segment, aforementioned, was up again in March with a total of 1,245 units delivered, up a very healthy 20.3 per cent, or 210 trucks, on March 2021.
The first quarter result was even better, with 3,012 Heavy sales year-to-date, representing the 23.6 per cent.
That equated to a 575 Heavy truck increase over quarter one 2021.
The Medium Duty segment posted solid sales again in March with a total of 686 trucks delivered, up 14.0 per cent, or 84 units, over March 2021.
To the end of the first quarter a total of 1,651 Medium Duty trucks have been delivered, up by 12.9 percent (189 trucks) over 2021 first quarter sales.
Light Duty truck sales (those trucks with a GVM between 3,500 kg and 8,000 kg) have been performing well for the past couple of years and sales in 2022 remain solid.
March saw sales in the Light Duty segment total 1,428 units, up 16.0 per cent (197 trucks) over March 2021.
At the end of the first quarter of 2022, Light Duty sales are ahead of the same period last year by 8.4 per cent, up 248 truck sales.
Light Duty Van sales (vans with a GVM between 3,500 kg and 8,000 kg) have been a strong performer over the past few years, however, at present, 2022 has not been kind. Van sales in 2022 continue to take a hit, most likely due to supply chain and shipping issues out of Europe, the source region for all Light Duty Vans reported by the Truck Industry Council.
The segment posted poor sales in March with a total of just 438 units, down 36.5 per cent, or -252 vans, when compared with March 2021.
The first quarter tally stands little better, down 35.7 percent (-520 vans) over quarter one 2021. No doubt the van OEMs will be hoping for better sales for the remainder of 2022.
“The first three months of 2022 have brought record new truck sales in Australia,” said Tony McMullan, CEO of Truck Industry Council.
“Sales in each of the truck segments are ahead of those at this time last year and this is pleasing to witness,” he said.
McMullan said he was happy to see that the Heavy Duty segment continued to lead the market’s sales growth at the end of March.
“This level of sales growth across all truck segments will likely stem the ageing of our truck fleet, however more needs to be done to ensure that the significant level of safety, environmental and productivity features available in newer trucks permeates through our nation’s fleet,” he said.
“In this regard the federal government’s inaction in implementing ADR80/04, Euro VI and alternatives, is disappointing.”