The UK new heavy goods vehicle market declined 7.0% in Q3 2018, according to figures released recently by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 9,853 heavy trucks were registered between June and September, a result of fluctuating fleet buying cycles and ongoing falls in business confidence.
Truck Sales Down in Q3 Say SMMT
Registrations of rigid trucks declined in the third quarter, down 9.8%, with a 6.0% decrease in the >6-16T segment and an 11.9% decline in the >16T segment. Meanwhile, demand for artic vehicles also fell, by 3.1% to 4,246 units. Tractors remained the most popular vehicle, despite a 4.1% drop in demand, accounting for more than two fifths (42.8%) of the market. Skip loaders and box vans were the only segments to record growth in the quarter, up 11.1% and 2.4% respectively.
It was a similar picture in the year-to-date figures, with overall HGV registrations falling -7.5% to 30,308 units, with declines in demand for both rigids (-9.9%) and artics (-4.1%).
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “While fluctuating fleet buying cycles are a natural feature of the HGV market, given this quarter marks the fifth consecutive decline, there is no doubt that a fall in operator confidence is having an impact on registrations of these big-ticket purchases. Government must address the current economic and political uncertainty if we are to get more of these high-tech, ultra-low emission vehicles on to our roads, and to ensure the sector can prosper.”