New HGV market declines in 2017

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The new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market declined by 2.6% in 2017 following two years of strong growth, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In total, 45,045 heavy trucks were registered last year, a result of fluctuating fleet buying cycles and ongoing economic uncertainty, mirroring similar declines in the new van market.

Demand for rigid vehicles declined by 5% in the year, with a 2.1% fall in the >6-16T segment and a 6.7% decrease in registrations of >16T vehicles.

Meanwhile, demand for artic vehicles remained steady, finishing the year up 0.8% at 19,510 units.

Tractors continued to be the most popular choice, accounting for 43.1% of the market, while dropside trucks also boosted their share, rising 9.2%. However, refuse disposal vehicles experienced the biggest increase in demand, up 22.7% compared with 2016.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Following two years of robust growth and the long cycles involved in heavy goods fleet renewal, it’s no surprise to see deliveries fall in 2017.

“However, declining operator confidence is also starting to take its toll on demand. To avoid long-term disruption, government must address economic and political concerns and restore the business certainty needed for this important market to prosper.”

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  • Edward Handley - 13/02/2018 14:28

    The only surprising thing is that the fall was as low as it was. The Mayor of London, and others, have demanded that all trucks entering their cities meet new direct vision and low emissions standards that they say they will introduce and enforce in the next couple of years, but have not yet decided what the standards are going to be. No one wants to spend a lot of money of a new truck that may be rendered useless in a couple of years time by the arbitary decisions of the politicians, so they are naturally waiting to see what the standards are before they commit to new trucks. The greatest impact is on the rigid trucks and 2 axle tractor units which are the ones mainly used for urban deliveries. The net effect of all the political mucking about is to delay the introduction of new low pollution trucks with the latest vulnerable road users safety aids, so the Mayor of London and others jumping on his bandwaggon are directly responsible for the continues use of older, more polluting and less safe trucks in the major cities.

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