Trucks Sales Excel in 2010

The South African truck market delivered a surprising performance in 2010, increasing year-on-year sales by 16.31% to a total of 22 022 units.

This is according to the latest statistics released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).

Looking at the performance of the various market segments when compared to that of 2009, Medium Commercial Vehicle sales grew by 4.34% to 7 557 units and sales in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment by 13.11%, to 4 418 units.  Significant growth was also experienced in the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment, with increased sales of 24.29% to conclude the year 8 496 units. The Bus segment also ended 2010 on a positive note, with 1 551 units retailed – an increase of 7.54%

According to Johan Richards, chief executive of UD Trucks Southern Africa, this would indicate that whilst lower interest rates supported the recovery, the typical distribution segments of MCVs and HCVs did not grow as drastically.

“We believe that this trend can possibly be attributed to a somewhat sluggish consumer spend, especially in light of the current the high debt to income ratio, as well as the high level of unemployment that is still plaguing our economy,” Richards.  “In contrast the improvements in commodities contributed to the good growth in the EHCV segment.”

Looking forward for 2011, the company expects that growth will continue and anticipates a total market of between 24 000 to 25 000 units.  Richards said that if one could cast away a cautious and sceptical approach, then there are indeed many positives that can create growth opportunities in 2011.

“These include the implementation of the government’s Growth Plan, expected lower inflation rates, improved roads on which to operate, continuous fixed investments, as well as improvements in service delivery and the financing of vehicles,” said Richards.

“All these factors can support a good year in the truck market; however, as always the scales could be tipped by some of the challenges that remain, such as a fluctuating exchange rate and the high debt to income ratio.”

Richards concluded by saying that with more positive than negative prospects on the horizon, it is likely that replacement cycles will soon start to normalise to such an extent that the industry will once again experience some healthy growth in truck sales during 2011.


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