This is 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). *(Mercedes-Benz South Africa is only reporting aggregated sales data but Naamsa estimates based on historical trends and forecasting, are included here.)
Rory Schulz, general manager of corporate planning and marketing at UD Trucks Southern Africa, believes that even though the current growth rate is below the company’s forecasted 12.3%, the market still has a lot going for it.
“The truck industry experienced growth in all its various market segments, and we are expecting the market to continue on its growth part during the remaining six months of the year, albeit at a slower rate than previously forecasted,” said Schulz.
Looking at a breakdown of the performance of the different segments within the local truck market during the first half of the year, Medium Commercial Vehicle sales increased by 6.70% when compared to the results of 2011, to 4 878 units. Heavy Commercial Vehicle sales were only slightly up, by 1%, to 2 380 units, while the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment saw an increase of 6.3% to conclude the period on 6 033 units. Bus sales also experienced some growth of 6.1% to 587 units.
Although June’s year-on-year growth rate of 4.5% is lower than the double digit growth rates experienced in the passenger and light commercial vehicle market segments, the truck market still outperformed the 2 501 units sold during May 2012 by 2%.
“External influences, like the Eurozone crisis, are continuing to have a negative impact on local growth including job creation, exports and subsequently truck sales,” said Schulz. “Of course, oil supply and pricing will always impact the local economy, and the only question is how much of an effect it will have on South African truck sales and transport operators’ costs in the months to come.”