Increases in articulated trucks, tractor and tipper registrations show the market’s tentative steps to recovery after a weak first sales quarter in 2020,
Increased Registrations in 2021 Show Partial Market Recovery
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released the first-quarter sales figures which show increased fortunes in HGV registrations. 10,064 new units were registered in the first 3 months of 2021, up from 9,193 in 20220, which represents a recovery position for the industry – especially as this is still -15.1% on pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Articulated trucks saw a swift rise in new registrations, with an impressive 25.3% change, to 4,528 vehicles. While tractors saw the biggest year-on-year increase with a significant 44.3% rise – 4,456 units compared to 3,521 from the year before, accounting for 26.6% more units registered when compared with the first 2020 quarter. Tipper registrations increased healthily, with a 10.8% change, although rigids fell slightly, with a -0.8% decrease reaching 5,536. In general, registrations of most segments dropped as the pandemic continued to stranglehold the industry.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said of the figures: "The rise in truck registrations is welcome news but it does not yet signify full recovery, especially as it’s in comparison with a quarter when the first lockdown was introduced. Likewise, the nature of the fleet buying cycle for the HGV market can mean that a large fleet order can have a significant impact on any quarterly figures. However, fleet renewal remains the quickest way to get more of the newest, cleanest vehicles on UK roads, particularly as we strive to meet our collective environmental goals. A plan for a charging and refuelling network suitable for HGVs is pivotal for the transition to these new technologies."