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Trucking industry firing on all cylinders

Mercury logo Mercury 2019-05-12 Staff Reporter
a truck is parked on the side of a road: Gert Swanepoel says that UD Trucks believes that the basics, like fleet replacements, are still happening. Photo: Supplied © Provided by Independent Media Gert Swanepoel says that UD Trucks believes that the basics, like fleet replacements, are still happening. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – It seems like the South African commercial vehicle industry is firing on all cylinders, with another growth month recorded in April 2019.  

This is according to the latest combined year-to-date results released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors (AAD).  

“Overall growth of 6.6 percent and a total of 8 104 units is quite surprising,” said Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa. “It will be interesting to see how the market performs at the end of the second quarter, with South Africans going to the polls on the May 8.”

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In a year-on-year comparison, medium commercial vehicle sales are also up by 14.7 percent to 2 562 units. 

This is also the case in the heavy commercial vehicle segment, with growth of 6.9 percent recorded to bring sales to 1 581 units. 

Extra heavy commercial sales increased by 1.6 percent to 3 691 units during the same period. 

Bus sales are, however, still on the decline, this time by 6.6 percent to just 270 units sold so far this year.  

“We are now moving into a very interesting sales period,” said Swanepoel.  “In spite of the fact that many of the major economic indicators are tracking negatively, the truck market has remained very resilient and just keeps on recording growth month after month.” 

Swanepoel explained that UD Trucks believes that the basics, like fleet replacements, are still happening, although the industries in which sales are still happening have moved away from the traditional segments like construction, mining and manufacturing.

“We have seen a lot of growth in the logistics industry, especially with the increase in sub-segments like online shopping, local hub deliveries, and distribution,” said Swanepoel.

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