Disappointing sales affected the local truck industry during April. 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), a total of 2 350 trucks were sold during April, a 7.63% decline on the same month last year.Jacques Carelse, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa, says “Declines were recorded across all the segments, mainly due to someunfavourable economic conditions as well as the loss of many production and trading days as a result of the many public holidays during April.” Compared to the results of April 2013, sales in the Medium Commercial Vehicle (MCV) segment declined by 14.35% to 776 units. Sales in the Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) segment logged a slight decline of 0.49% to 404 units, while Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle (EHCV) sales were down 3.88% to 1 091 units. The biggest loser was the Bus segment, which experienced an 18.56% decline, to only reach 79 sales. The picture looks slightly different when sales are analysed on a year-to-date basis, with growth experienced by HCVs (2.65%), EHCV (7.47%) and Buses (4.45%).
Carelse adds, “Despite the difficult trading conditions experienced during April, the total truck market has still reported a 2.42% year-to-date growth and remains on track to post a modest 4.5% increase in sales for the year.”During April, UD Trucks grew sales of its HCVs by 66.07% month-on-month, retaining its title as the best manufacturer in this segment. The company also improved its share of the total truck market by climbing to the third spot. UD Trucks is looking forward to an exciting number of months, starting with the introduction of a new UD 90 ATM, as well as a new Quon GW 26 450 – a long distance commodity mover that will compete in the popular 440 to 460hp range of vehicles. Carelse concludes, “With regards to UD Trucks’ MCV range, year-on-year results in April showed a 25.15% increase in sales for the company in this market segment. In its run-out year, the UD35, 40 and 40L will continue to prove their worth by saving owners considerable amounts on diesel, maintenance and running costs.”