Daf Trucks has pledged that prices on all new UK orders for LF, CF and XF vehicles will remain secured for vehicles built by the end of February 2021.
The announcement, made ahead of the Brexit announcement on a potential deal, expected on October 15, has been made despite the threat of import tariffs brought about by a potential no-deal Brexit, and the potential of a devalued pound against the euro.
Daf said it wanted to ‘deliver a level of certainty during a period of uncertainty’ as UK operators prepare for the inevitable challenges of the Brexit transition.
The vast majority of right-hand-drive Daf LF, CF and XF trucks are built at Leyland Trucks in Lancashire, which, in the event of a deal not being struck, will mean Daf buyers would not face whole-vehicle import tariffs.
With Daf Trucks’ order books already filled for 2020 production, this pledge gives pricing certainty for operators needing new vehicles in the first part of 2021, it said.
Importantly they will also be able to configure the specification to their exacting needs, rather than risk a compromise if taking a vehicle from pre-built stock.
Furthermore, Daf Trucks is bolstering its already substantial inventory at its UK Parts Distribution Centre – also at Leyland Trucks – while also adding two weeks supplementary stock across the UK’s 130-location Daf Dealer network to mitigate against any potential cross-border supply-chain delays.
Similar action is being taken at Daf Trucks’ parts centre in Eindhoven in anticipation of a no-deal outcome.
Daf Trucks believes these pre-emptive moves will inject some confidence into the market for new vehicle acquisitions. Truck sales director, Russell Patmore, explained: “In addition to the fears brought about by the ongoing health emergency in the UK, operators also face Brexit anxieties. We hope our price assurance will deliver a level of certainty during a period of uncertainty.
“The potential consequences of tariffs have contributed to a strong order intake and production slots for this year are now filled.
“As a UK manufacturer and if tariffs are imposed, they will be far less impactful than those experienced by our competitors on whole-vehicle imports.
“Despite the fact that truck prices are expected to increase in the UK in general, we’re prepared to commit to firm competitive pricing.
“We want to support operators and in so doing inject some confidence into the market.”
Daf Trucks is forecasting the truck market to end the year at 32,000 new registrations, down 34% on 2019’s 48,535 and 18,000 below its original estimate for the year.
However, the UK’s biggest selling truck manufacturer says it is experiencing a “reasonably V-shaped recovery”, underpinned by strong demand from most business sectors.