Know Your Truck
Truck sales are reaching highs not seen in the past 10 years, representatives of the Truck Industry Council (TIC) have said, but some brands have become markedly more popular in the interim.
Earlier this month, the TIC said first quarter new truck and van sales in 2018 had reached 8,675, eclipsing the record set ten years earlier in 2008, when 8,267 new trucks and vans were delivered.
ATN has compiled data from the monthly reports, building combined first quarter reports from both years.
While it can be argued the data is an arbitrary sample – the results nonetheless show a significant boost in popularity for some, and a marked fall for others.
While Kenworth was the buying public’s favourite in both 2018 and 2008 heavy-duty truck sales, Western Star fell significantly, from 323 vehicles and second place in 2008 to 78 in the first quarter of this year – making it the 14th most popular brand according to TIC data.
Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz tripled in popularity, from 71 sold in 2008 to 218 in 2018, with Isuzu, Volvo and Scania sales also increasing significantly in the 10 year period.
Large falls were also seen in Freightliner, down from 226 to 104 sold in 2018, and International, down from 132 to 15. Sterling trucks were discontinued in 2009.
Other stand out differences were in the Medium Duty category, with a spike in sales for MAN – 242 in 2018 compared with 8 sold 10 years prior – and in Van sales, with Renault leapfrogging its competition to sell 341 in the first quarter of this year, up from 75 in 2008.
Check out the rest of the data in our graph below - starting with heavy duty trucks.
Truck Assist | Know Your Truck
Two months after spruiking the Australian input into the updated Toyota HiLux, more details, including pricing, have emerged.
Now officially launched, the 4x4 double cab Rugged X, Rogue and Rugged models come at a time when the higher-spec end of the market has become more crowded, witht eh likes of Mercedes-Benz entering the fray, and budget makes are looking to step up from the basic.
"These three new HiLux heroes give customers a bold new choice in the market whether they are looking for a stylish and refined top-end ute for work and play or need enhanced protection, functionality and recovery capability for serious off-roading," Toyota Australia's vice president sales and marketing Sean Hanley says.
"We know that the average HiLux customer already spends over $2,000 on accessories for their vehicles so we looked at what those needs were from both a capability and style perspective and developed a raft of new features for HiLux.
"Designed and developed over a three-year vehicle program, all the new components on these stunning HiLux models are fully integrated and engineered into the core vehicle and covered by the standard factory warranty.
"The Rugged X, Rogue and Rugged are not accessorised special editions, they are fully fledged new HiLux models that our customers demanded and we can be justifiably proud that they were designed and developed here in Australia."
As the new top-of-the-range HiLux, the fully equipped Rugged X is priced from $61,690 plus on-road and other costs — as are all figures mentioned — in manual guise and $63,690 as an automatic.
The automatic-only HiLux Rogue is priced from $61,690.
The HiLux SR-based Rugged offers superb value and is priced from $54,990 as a manual with the six-speed automatic option adding $2,000.
With its off-road focus, the Rugged X builds on the SR5 on which it is based with a host of protective, functional and recovery features.
At the front, the winch-compatible heavy-duty steel front bar with integrated bash plate, LED lightbar and driving lights provides effective off-road protection and, together with the new design grille, gives the Rugged X a striking and tough aesthetic.
Further protective and recovery features include a snorkel, purposeful side rock rails that are able to support a fully laden vehicle, front and rear recovery points and a new heavy-duty steel rear bar and integrated tow bar.
The rear tub of the Rugged X has also been designed for functionality with a new steel sports bar that can support a vertical load of 75kg and, with multiple tie down points, secure up to 200kg on the floor of the tub.
Inside, it features leather-accented seats, a new design instrument cluster, metallic black ornamentation and black headlining.
The Rogue has been designed with a more urban adventurer customer in mind and features "redesigned front and rear ends that reflect Toyota's global truck design DNA".
Designed in Australia and developed in conjunction with the Toyota engineering team in Thailand, it will be sold in markets globally.
"The new more vertical front end and outboard driving lights give the vehicle a strong assertive appearance that is complemented by clean lines and a neat rear bumper — all with a contemporary black and grey colour palette," Toyota says.
The tub also gains the same practical and stylish sports bar as all the new HiLux models along with a bespoke hard tonneau cover for added protection and security.
As a premium model, the Rogue also gains the same interior features and trim as the Rugged X.
The Rugged model is based on the HiLux SR and is aimed at customers who want the extra functionality and features of the Rugged X but with the protection offered by a traditional steel bullbar.
Like the Rugged X, the Rugged also features a snorkel, redesigned grille, side rock rails, sports bar and heavy-duty steel rear bar together recovery points.
All three new HiLux models share the same mechanical specifications as the SR5 or SR models on which they are based and are powered by a proven, strong and efficient 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine.
Driving through a part-time, shift-on-the-fly 4x4 system with a full set of low-range ratios, the engine generates maximum power of 130kW and 450Nm of torque with the optional six-speed automatic transmission or 420Nm when mated to the six-speed manual gearbox.
Copyright 2017 NTI Limited
Insurance products are provided by National Transport Insurance, a joint venture of the insurers Insurance Australia Limited trading as CGU Insurance ABN 11 000 016 722 AFSL 227681 and AAI Limited Trading as Vero Insurance ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 each holding a 50% share. National Transport Insurance is administered on behalf of the insurers by its manager NTI Limited ABN 84 000 746 109 AFSL 237246.