Sales of new heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) have fallen by 73.4% in the second quarter of 2020, with 4,151 units registered in the period.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that in the same period last year more than 15,000 trucks were registered. This coincided with the introduction of smart tachographs, which led to a large uptick in orders, however.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Such a sharp decrease in heavy commercial vehicle registrations is deeply concerning given the sector’s critical role in keeping the country moving.
“While it is important to be mindful of the pronounced boost the introduction of new technologies had on last year’s figures, 2020 has been unprecedented. Given the current economic uncertainties, restoring operator confidence will be crucial in driving the UK’s recovery but also ensuring it is a green recovery, as getting more of the latest high-tech, low emission vehicles onto our roads is key to addressing environmental concerns.”
Registrations of rigid trucks fell 72.6%, with both the >6-16T and >16T segments experiencing similar sharp declines. Elsewhere, demand for articulated heavy trucks fell by 74.7% to 1,525 units.
While tractors continued to make up the majority of HGV registrations with a 35.9% market share, all segments saw demand halved or worse.
In Q1, HGV registrations were 22.5% down on the previous year. This was blamed on fluctuations in the sector’s naturally long fleet renewal cycle, together with lockdown measures introduced partway through March.
In the year to date, the market is now some 51.4% lower than the same period in 2019, with 14,120 fewer vehicles registered.