The new Mercedes-Benz Actros, which is not a common sight on our roads and has not boosted sales. Picture: DAIMLER
The new Mercedes-Benz Actros, which is not a common sight on our roads and has not boosted sales. Picture: DAIMLER

The truck market showed reasonable growth in July, with the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers SA describing increases as "encouraging gains".

The medium commercial vehicle market increased by 15.90% at 701 units in July compared to the corresponding month in 2017. However, it still has some work to do to recover the year-to-date decline of 4.30% against the same period in 2017. Heavy commercial vehicles weighing between 8,501kg and 16,500kg were also up by 29.80% at 484 units in July. Mercedes-Benz, which still fails to report specific sales figures, saw an increase of 10.30% in the segment in contrast to its declines in the passenger car market. The year-to-date figure is up by the slimmest of margins at 0.60%, although here Mercedes’ sales are down 19.70% against the same period in 2017.

Extra-heavy commercial vehicle sales showed a slight increase of 2.40% for the month, with Mercedes down 2.60% in spite of the recent arrival of the not-so-new Actros.

There is good news for the segment so far in 2018, though, with sales up 11.10%, despite Mercedes being down 13.30%. Exports also rose in July for the segment, but the year-to-date is not looking so healthy, with exports down 27.60%.

Percentage fluctuations in the bus market tend not to portray an accurate picture due to the low volumes involved, but July saw the market sell 74 units, down 23.70%, with Mercedes selling 12. To date the bus market is down 7.90% but exports of 83 units so far in 2018 means a huge 654.50% increase on 2017.

Please sign in or register to comment.