ARTSA-i releases Q3 2020 heavy vehicle market report

New registrations are down, total registrations are up and old equipment is still hanging around, the ARTSA Institute (ARTSA-i) reports.

ARTSA-i has released its latest heavy vehicle market report which reviews the September quarter and longer term changes in heavy rigid, prime mover and trailer registrations.

The pool of registered medium (4.5- to 12-tonne Gross Vehicle Mass – GVM) and heavy (>12 tonne GVM) rigids, prime movers, trailers, special purpose vehicles and buses has reportedly grown from 896,000 units at the end of 2013 to 994,000 at the end of September 2020.

The table below illustrates some of the trends in total registrations, new registrations, retirements and median age.

Total registrations, according to ARTSA-i, seem to be immune to economic cycles with an almost unbroken and steady increase in the total pool of registered heavy vehicle equipment over the last seen years. It represents a 10 per cent growth in the total park of registered equipment over nearly seven years. Total registrations, however, mask what is actually happening as this number varies according to the number of new equipment being registered and older equipment being retired.

The growth in new registrations over the last 12 months across rigids, prime movers and trailers has been negative, ranging from 9 per cent to nearly 17 per cent compared with the previous year’s new registrations. When compared with new registrations for the same quarter of the previous year the reductions are similar. When compared with the immediate prior quarter (Q2 2020) the reductions are smaller while prime movers registered a small increase of 1.0 per cent.

The inevitable impact of a slowing new registration count and a greater slowing in retirements pushes up the median age of the fleet. While rigids and prime movers median ages have increased marginally over the last seven years, trailers have increased significantly and are now approaching the median age of rigid vehicles at around 14 years. Note that the median age of a fleet is the age for which there are equal numbers of newer and older vehicles.

Last quarter, ARTSA-i commented: “The Federal Governments tax write off incentives as well as their commitment to accelerating the expenditure on infrastructure projects is expected to provide a kick along for heavy vehicle purchases in the third and fourth quarters of 2020”.

Rob Perkins, ARTSA-i Data analytics Executive Director, Rob Perkins, said this kick along has yet to emerge (in terms of new registrations) although feedback from heavy vehicle equipment suppliers is that forward orders are strong but that Covid disruption to world supply chains is impacting on the supply of critical components.

“While 2020 has been slow compared with past recent years, the slowdown in new registrations is probably within expectations given the exceptional circumstances of 2020,” he said. “If supply chains keep up with component orders it would seem that the future outlook is still quite positive.”

For more information on the data that can be purchased contact Perkins via rob@artsa.com.au or phone +61 411 402 832.

ARTSA-i Data analytics can supply a range of custom reports that provide considerable detail by manufacturer, but can also be analysed by State, by year and other variables such as registration category, VIN, postcode, age and more.