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Steady Truck Sales Edge Upwarrds in August.
Building on the momentum established during the first half of 2011, the South African Truck Market continued to reflect steady growth during the month of August. The total sales volume of 2 306 trucks, buses and vans with Gross Vehicle Mass ratings of more than 3 500 kg reported during the month to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa improved on the final audited volume of 2 248 units recorded during July by a margin of 2,6%. This resulted in the total market returning year-on-year growth, in the January-August period, of 23,8%, when compared to the equivalent first eight months of 2010.
The August, 2011 market composition was made up of 730 Medium Commercial Vehicles (GVM ratings between 3 501 kg and 8 500 kg), 419 Heavy Commercials (goods vehicles with GVM ratings between 8 501 kg and 16 500 kg), 1 075 Extra Heavy Commercials (goods vehicles with GVM ratings above 16 500 kg) and 82 passenger Buses with GVM ratings above 8 500 kg. (Please note that these volumes also include aggregated sales recorded by Associated Motor Holdings and Amalgamated Automobile Distributors, presently made up exclusively of Hyundai-branded MCV class products).
Dr. Casper Kruger, Vice President of Hino in South Africa, comments: "The South African truck market is exhibiting remarkable volume consistency as we progress through the third quarter of 2011. Individual monthly sales volumes recorded this year have averaged 2 212 units, and the results from the last three months have not deviated from this value by a margin of more than ten per cent. This performance is gratifying, given the generally lacklustre current trends in global economies, and recent outputs from the Kagiso Purchasing Managers' Index, which reflects the business climate in the local manufacturing sector. This index has returned overall readings of less than 50 in both the current and previous month's reports, indicating reduced confidence and some contraction of business activity in that sector".
Kruger continues: "The premium payload XHCV segment continues to lead the market growth, and in the latest year-to-date analysis, has captured 44,5% of the total available sales. This compares to 38,6% recorded for the whole of 2010, and reflects the dependence of the South African economy on long-distance road transport, both within and across the country's borders. The distribution-rich HCV segment, which is dominated by products of Japanese origin, improved its volume performance by a margin of 8% during August over the previous month's result, and at 18,1% overall market share year-to-date, has started starting to work its way back towards the 20% penetration position that it has occupied for much of the past decade. As Japanese product availability normalises after that country's Earthquake/Tsunami events of March, 2011, this segment can be expected to consolidate a position closer to its traditional level".
Kruger concludes: "Bus sales, at just less than 4% of the year-to-date total market mix, have now returned to penetration levels sustained prior to Soccer World Cup stimulation in 2009 and 2010. The performance of the entry-level MCV segment, however, has exhibited substantial levels of volatility thus far in 2011. This category's year-to-date overall market share currently stands at 34,7%, very close to its 2010 full year level of 34,3%, but monthly volumes during 2011 have fluctuated in a range of 362 units against a year-to-date average of 758 units, a volatility band of some 48%. Following strong deliveries to government users in the first quarter, MCV monthly volumes have shown a tendency to decline since March. This trend could be a product of individual model availability, given the dominance of Japanese-source vehicles in the truck portion of MCV sales, but, considering that vehicles in this category are utilised by a great variety of businesses, ranging from individual operators and small fleets in the private sector to central and local government entities and large national distribution networks, this is also likely to be a consequence of the softening business conditions currently being experienced in the broad consumer sector of the South African economy".