Extra-heavies add punch to Q2 truck sales
The second quarter of 2011 closed with a dramatic 77% rise in the sales volumes of extra-heavy trucks (with a GVM greater than 16 500kg) compared to June 2010. The 2011 year-to-date figures in this sector at the end of the second quarter are also up on 2010 by an impressive 47.2%.
According to Naamsa, “the latest figures (extra-heavy trucks) suggest positive fixed investment associated with major infrastructural projects.”
While the commercial vehicle market is being driven largely by sales in the extra-heavy truck segment, sales volumes in the heavy truck segment (8 500kg to 16 500kg GVM) remain steady while passenger bus sales, which have been subdued post-SWC 2010, improved by 12.5% in June 2011 compared to the corresponding month last year.
It is encouraging to note that the escalating sales trend in the extra-heavy commercial vehicle sector during the first six months of this year has sustained its momentum despite the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan and fears of a double-dip global recession. Domestically however, labour action has dampened investor confidence to some degree and the threat of widespread strikes continues to loom as the country enters its mid-year wage negotiations season. Several labour unions under the Cosatu banner have a direct impact on the commercial transport industry and protracted strikes could negatively affect the sales of new commercial vehicles.
For MAN Truck & Bus SA, June 2011 showed unit-sales improvements of 15.3% in the heavy truck segment and 19.6% in the extra-heavy truck category, compared to May 2011. A staggering rise in sales of 139% was recorded by MAN extra-heavy trucks this June, compared to June 2010. MAN’s bus division retained its market-leadership position during June 2011, outselling its nearest competitor by 44%.
The positive results posted by MAN, its extra-heavy trucks in particular, while reflecting the broader climate of strong investment in capital equipment for mining and construction applications, also bears testimony to MAN Truck & Bus SA’s ongoing work to align its local operations more closely with customer requirements. An emphasis on placing executive power at the customer interface/point-of-sale has enabled MAN dealerships around the country to penetrate new markets with customised products, swift turnaround times and value-adding services.