The UK new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market declined -13.1% in Q3 2019, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) with 8,557 heavy trucks being registered between July and September, a result of regulatory changes that saw operators pull purchases forward into the first half of the year.
Regulations Affect HGV Market
Registrations of rigid trucks declined by a fifth (20.5%) in the third quarter, with a -28.5% decrease in the >6-16T segment and a -15.7% decline in the >16T segment. Meanwhile, demand for artic vehicles also fell, by -3.4% to 4,100 units. Tractors remained the most popular vehicle, despite a -4.7% drop in demand, accounting for almost half of the market. All other body types experienced declines, with curtain sided trucks experiencing the biggest percentage fall, down -28.0%.
Despite the fall in the quarter, the new HGV market remains strong in the year to date, with registrations in the first nine months up 18.8% year-on-year to 36,021. Both rigid truck and articulated vehicle registrations show growth, up 16.2% and 22.4% respectively.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Given the rush to register new trucks before the introduction of new regulations in June, the slowdown in quarter three was anticipated, and we expect to see the market to continue to rebalance in final part of the year. To curtail further losses, however, and to get more of these high-tech low emission vehicles on our roads, we need the right conditions to give operators confidence to continue to invest in their fleets.”