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Record truck year for SA

2008-01-16 07:56
More than 37 000 trucks were sold in South Africa last year, which, according to Naamsa, reflects a 12% increase on 2006's performance.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) reported that a total of 37 069 trucks were sold in 2007.

"This is the second consecutive year that the South African truck market managed to set a new sales benchmark," said Rory Schulz, vice president of operations at Nissan Diesel South Africa.

"It was encouraging to note that the growth trend was spread across all goods vehicle segments of the market, with particularly strong performances by the heavy and extra heavy commercial vehicle groupings."

According to Schulz, this is indicative of the current trend of fixed investments, and also explains the bias toward vehicles with heavier payloads.

Last year, sales in the medium commercial vehicle (MCV) segment increased by 6.5% on 2006?s results, to 15 168 units.

Sales in the heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) segment totalled 7 530 units in 2007 - a 12.5% increase on 2006's performance.

Extra heavy commercial vehicle (EHCV) sales grew by a significant 20.2%, ending the year on 13 095 units.

The Bus segment showed a 2.1% growth on 2006 to 1 276 units.

"The final 2007 result was achieved despite fairly serious market disruptions, including a less than optimal eNaTIS start-up, the implementation of the National Credit Act, as well as the nationwide industry strike in the automotive components sector," commented Schulz.

Prospects for truck, van and bus sales in 2008 remain positive, although a slowdown in the growth rate is expected.

While the global picture is set to present the local market with some uncertainties, notably oil prices and volatile financial markets, the Rand is presently holding up well and local interest rates are expected to end their upward cycle during 2008.

"However, the effect of rising interest rates has been marginal in the commercial vehicle segments, as the impact reduces the bigger the vehicle gets," said Schulz

"Under these circumstances, a total market volume surpassing 40 000 units in 2008, is a distinct possibility."


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