Australian Truck Market Falls in Q1

According to this report which quotes VFACTS, the Australian truck market dipped by 1.06 per cent to 7351 units in the first quarter of 2007, despite the fact that the combined - cars, trucks and the rest of them - vehicle business rose by 8.7 per cent to a record 237,000 units.Isuzu maintained a marginal lead in the truck market, retaining its slight lead over Japanese rivals Hino and Mitsubishi Fuso in a mixed round of vehicle sales.Isuzu leads the Light Duty market with a 22.1 per cent share, a modest improvement on last year. In the Medium Duty sector, Hino stands out with a 37.6 per cent piece, equating to Q1 sales of 722 units.The Heavy Duty sector continues to be dominated by Kenworth, with a 16.5 per cent market share. Add DAF to the Kenworth figure, and the Paccar brand reaches 19.6 per cent, giving the Dutch OEM a 3.4 per cent piece. The combined Volvo / Mack operation achieved 22.3 per cent, but splitting the brands shows that each accounted 10.9 and 11.4 per cent respectively. It's probably too early to say quite what AB Volvo's acquisition of Nissan Diesel and its UD Brand will do to its numbers.

DfT says Drivers' hours bill pulled due to 'typo'

The Department for Transport has confirmed that it has pulled the domestic version of the drivers' hours legislation from the parliamentary rosters where it was due to be debated, citing typographical issues – but it says it will look at the policy issues raised by critics.

The withdrawal of the legislation followed within hours of a so-called ‘fatal amendment’ tabled by the Earl, Lord Attlee, recommending the lords rejected the law as it does not represent the interests in the Armed Services or recreational users. Lord Attlee fears that the Territorial Army will be unable to recruit professional drivers for weekend exercises because of the rest periods demanded by the regulations. He is also concerned that heavy truck enthusiasts will be hit by unnecessary bills for tachograph calibration and sealing.

A DfT spokesman says the issues will not be ignored.  “Of course we will look at it,” he says, although he would not commit to a timeframe. The original withdrawal of the legislation concerned a missing section and was not related to the amendment.

Lord Attlee accepts that his amendment would probably not stop the legislation passing into <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />UK law but he will nonetheless re-attach it if the government does not take this opportunity to revisit the issues. “If they say we can have a derogation for the Armed Forces for example I will accept that. But these are very important issues.”