The South African commercial vehicle market recorded a very marginal year-on-year increase of 0.1% at the end of July, to reach 14 853 new units sales so far in 2018.  The biggest growth occurred in the Extra Heavy Commercial Vehicle segment, which increased sales by 4.4% to 6 964 units year-to-date.

Although the overall market picked up, the Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle segments still showed declines of 4.3% (4 333 units) and 1.8% (3 007 units) respectively.  Bus sales also continued to decline, so far by 5.2% this year, and reached 549 new unit sales at the end of July.

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

The export market has so far increased by 1% this year, to 565 units.  A total of 83 Bus sales has been recorded, a 65.5% improvement over the same period in 2017. Year-on-year MCV sales are also up by a significant 91.18% to 65 units.  HCVs declined to 96 units, down by 1%, and EHCV sales also decreased by 23% to 321 units.

Looking more closely at the truck market, UD Trucks Southern Africa expects the market to flatten out during the remainder of 2018.

“The long-haul segment remains stable, supported by the slight growth in demand for transport on the back of increased trade figures.  However, a decline in the mining, agricultural and manufacturing industries are still stifling sales in this segment,” said Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “The distribution segment, which includes waste still remained strong, as new vehicles are acquired for tenders awarded, while the demand for construction vehicles has declined slightly.”

Swanepoel said that the company anticipates the market to flatter out during the balance of 2018.