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Industry battles through April

May 10, 2018

As we hurry towards the second half of 2018, a total of 7 674 new trucks and buses have so far been sold this year.

However, the South African commercial vehicle market has shown a decline in sales of 7,5 percent during April – compared to the same period last year. Further, April’s sales of 1 838 units was down by a significant 22,1 percent on March.

Gert Swanepoel, MD of UD Trucks Southern Africa, has commented that April is traditionally the start of an upturn in annual sales…

“A number of factors are currently hampering sales, including the recent violent attacks on trucks on our roads, which definitely hampers business confidence in the market. Countrywide industry strikes and the number of public holidays during April also weren’t very conducive to a positive buying environment for fleets,” he suggests.

Only the extra-heavy commercial vehicle segment increased, by 8,1 percent to 956 units, when compared to the results of April 2017.  Sales in the bus, heavy and medium commercial vehicle segments were all down; by 30, 8,5 and 12,1 percent, respectively.

Swanepoel says that a developing trend within the truck market is the larger portion of sales that go to online shopping businesses, and that the traditional transport industry is being challenged to be more flexible, approachable and precise.

“Our online retailer customer base has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, as more and more South Africans turn to the Internet to do their shopping. 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,” he says.

“Over recent months we have also seen that many government contracts are being awarded to up-and-coming companies, rather than more established traditional fleets, which has also changed the DNA of the industry.

“We believe that these developing trends will continue to push the industry as a whole to adapt, to be more innovative and to deliver products and services that the world needs today, and into the future,” Swanepoel concludes.

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.

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