The commercial vehicle market has had a strong start in 2019. Truck sales are up by 7.3% compared to January 2018, with over 1600 commercial vehicles and lorries being sold. These statistics were released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA).

The growth is seen across all sectors of the commercial vehicle market, except extra heavy trucks and busses. The year-on-year growth of medium commercial vehicles grew by 24.6% with 522 sales in January 2019. Heavy commercial vehicles increased slightly by 6.5% with 327 sales. Extra heavy commercial vehicles slowed by 1.8% with 719 sales in January 2019. Bus sales only reached 55 units – a 6.8% decline from January 2018.

“We are very encouraged by the good start to the year,” says the managing director of UD Trucks Southern Africa, Gert Swanepoel. “We foresee that certain macroeconomic influencers like the upcoming national elections and lower business confidence might damper sales up to July,” he explains.

The truck industry is resilient

2018 was a successful year for the truck and commercial vehicle industry. According to Swanepoel, it proves that the industry is resilient amidst challenging economic conditions. Business will still invest in new commercial vehicles for their fleets, despite tough times. This is a good sign of the prospects for 2019.

“One concern is that the average age of the local commercial vehicle is too high, at around 12 years, currently. In order to have a healthy and safe vehicle population, trucks need to be replaced every eight to ten years or so, and this is a goal that the industry needs to work towards,” explains Swanepoel.

Modern commercial vehicles are smart and efficient

Modern trucks are becoming more efficient which improves performance, productivity and profitability. They represent a sound investment for logistics and transport companies. Smart technologies such as telematics are also helping to bolster the sales of commercial vehicles in South Africa. As the demand grows for faster turnaround times, telematics, route planning and fleet management are becoming more important.

“Growth in the logistics and transport sectors were some of the key drivers in 2018’s growth in sales, and we expect this trend to continue this year,” says Swanepoel. “We do remain positive that 2019 will deliver another growth year for the commercial vehicle market,” he concludes.

Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.

Formex specialises in producing components for the catalytic converter industry, as well as metal components and assemblies for the various vehicles. Formex aims to become one of the foremost suppliers for the South African automotive industry by 2035, aligning itself with the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM) which takes effect in 2020.

Formex is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with over 80% black ownership, of which more than 40% are black women. The company is owned by Deneb Investments Limited – a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) – one of South Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

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