A total of 7 674 new trucks and buses have been sold in 2018 in South Africa, while the country’s commercial vehicle market recorded a decline in sales during April, lagging 7.5% behind the year-to-date results of 2017.
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).
April’s sales of 1 838 units were also a significant 22.1% down on March 2018’s results.
According to Gert Swanepoel, managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa, April is traditionally the start of an upturn in annual sales, but this year’s results are disappointing.
“A number of factors are currently hampering sales, including the recent countrywide violent attacks on trucks on our roads, which definitely hampered business confidence in the market,” said Swanepoel.
“The number of public holidays during April also weren’t very conducive to create a positive buying environment for fleets.”
On the positive side, Swanepoel said that a developing trend within the truck market is the larger portion of sales that go to online shopping businesses.
“Our online retailer customer base has grown with leaps and bounds over the past few years, as more and more South Africans turn to the Internet to do their shopping,” said Swanepoel.
“We have found that these emerging fleet owners have a passion for the transport business and are focussed on fuel efficiency, productivity and operating costs.”
Swanepoel noted that these innovative companies are slowly challenging the more traditional transport industry to be more flexible, approachable and precise as customers demand a faster and more reliable service for the timely delivery of their online purchases.