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Lorry market on a steep slope in Hungary

Hungary's lorry market shrunk 72% up to the end of September compared to the first nine months of 2008, a representative of Germany's MAN told the business daily Világgazdaság on Monday.

This is a clear result of the general crisis in which at least a quarter of road haulage companies went bankrupt since late last year and the rest can not secure bank financing. The rate is similar to that experienced in western Europe with the difference that high labor costs are suffocating forwarding companies in that region, whereas high leasing-costs are doing the same to Hungarian companies, a Volvo specialist said.

The haulage market is contracting mostly as the result of the crisis afflicting the petrochemical industry - 20% of Hungarian haulage companies served TVK and BorsodChem -, and only those forwarders are in better shape that transport food or other special items.

During the spring of last year, one- or two-year-old trucks could be sold on the secondary market for the price of a new one, but they are going for 50%-60% this year, with camion producers trying to sweep out inventories left over from last year at 20% to 30% lower prices than during the spring of last year.

Of the companies selling heavy trucks in Hungary, DAF sold 390 vehicles in the first nine months of 2009, down 10% from a year ago. MAN came in second with 144 vehicles sold, 80.6% less, while Renault sold 142, a decline of 66%, Mercedes 104, 77.5% less, Volvo 89, a drop of 88%, Scania 87, 80.4% less, and Iveco 65, a decrease of 83.7%, figures from Hungarian motor vehicle importers' association MGE show. (MTI-ECONEWS)