Heavy vehicle industry in top gear

The Australian heavy vehicle sector is driving out of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a strong economic recovery according to March sales figures from the Truck Industry Council.

The sector, which includes heavy vehicle manufacturers, importers and major component suppliers is in overdrive, with a 36.5 per cent increase in sales over March 2021 compared to the number of heavy vehicles sold in the same period in March 2020.

On a tour of Penske Australia at Wacol yesterday, Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Morrison Government had put rubber to the road in support of the economic recovery in the trucking, heavy vehicle and transport industry.

“The Morrison Government is helping businesses bounce back from COVID-19 through business-friendly taxation measures, such as the supercharged Instant Asset Write Off, Temporary Full Expensing and Loss Carry Back Offset.

“These measures are business friendly, investment friendly and job friendly.

“It's not just about getting business back to what they do best, moving goods and services, supporting our country and creating jobs – but it's also about investing in a safer, higher tech fleet,” Mr Buchholz said.

At Penske, General Manager of On Highway Craig Lee, said through to the end of March 2021, Penske and Penske Dealers Year on Year Retail truck sales had increased. 

"Our sales are up over 70 per cent and this is certainly been supported by the Australian Government's stimulus.

"Programs such as Jobkeeper and the temporary full expensing programs and range of other tax incentives have not only supported our business and employees through the pandemic,  but also on the other side as the economy recovers," Mr Lee said.

Mr Buchholz said industry leaders, such as Penske, were integral to the supply chain and keeping our heavy vehicles on the road.

“The work Penske transport and the 700 plus strong workforce does every single day, secure and supply parts, repair vehicles and get them back on the road – that keeps our freight moving.

“Recovery from the impact of the pandemic will take time, but we have seen the recent jobs figures with 77,700 jobs added in March – and while there are many challenges ahead, we are seeing the recovery right here in the trucking sector with sales up again.

Mr Buchholz said the Morrison Government's Economic Recovery Plan for Australia was working, and transport was at the heart of that Plan.

“Our Government, through various initiatives and programs will continue to make the necessary investments in infrastructure, technology and people to back businesses, jobs and industry,” Mr Buchholz said.

The next stage of the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan will support private sector activity through a number of measures including tax cuts, unprecedented business investment incentives, record levels of investment in skills and training, infrastructure and targeted support for the aviation and tourism sectors.