A strong consensus that 2014 commercial vehicle sales could be more robust than Australia has seen in recent years replaced the fireworks often associated with product unveilings at the last International Truck, Trailer & Equipment Show (ITTES) in Melbourne.
Original equipment manufacturers and suppliers alike said that after years of improving truck and engine designs during times of modest sales growth, they now expect accelerating volumes that should last at least through next year.
“The month of March saw a turnaround in the downward trend seen in new truck sales for January and February,” Mark Hammond, Chief Technical Officer at the Truck Industry Council (TIC), said during the Show.
While economists are predicting growth in 2014, overall market confidence had been tempered during the first quarter, fuelled by the continued announcements of manufacturing closures in the automotive and associated industries. The 2014 instalment of ITTES now caused a change of course in industry confidence.
“Very positive reports of sales across truck, trailer and ancillary suppliers are a sign that we could be in for a solid result in 2014 and reinforce the reputation of the show to attract key decision makers,” said ITTES Director, Clint Hendry.
Only a week after the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, raised confidence that a sustainable truck cycle is under way, Melbourne’s industry gathering proved that the global recovery is now underway.
“The Melbourne Show attracted a highly qualified trade audience and provided wider industry contact and promotion to a diverse audience over the weekend. Personnel from the industry and their families arrived in big numbers on both Saturday and Sunday and appreciated being able to mix with exhibitors and learn more about their industry,” said Hendry – revealing that both OEMs and fleets displayed new optimism in Melbourne, making the Show an important gauge for industry confidence in the Asia-Pacific region.