New HGV sales fall in Q3

New HGV sales fall in Q3

The UK new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market declined 7% in Q3 2018, the fifth consecutive quarter of decline, according to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 
 
The quarterly figures are commensurate with SMMT's year-to-date data, where overall HGV registrations have fallen by 7.5% to 30,308 units, with declines in demand for both rigids (9.9%) and artics (4.1%). 
 
SMMT said fluctuating fleet buying cycles and ongoing falls in business confidence were to blame for the latest decline. 
 
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “While fluctuating fleet buying cycles are a natural feature of the HGV market, given this quarter marks the fifth consecutive decline, there is no doubt that a fall in operator confidence is having an impact on registrations of these big ticket purchases. 
 
He added: “Government must address the current economic and political uncertainty if we are to get more of these high-tech, ultra-low emission vehicles on to our roads, and to ensure the sector can prosper.
 
There were 9,853 new heavy trucks registered between June and September. Registrations of rigid trucks declined in the third quarter, down -9.8%, with a 6% decrease in the >6-16T segment and an 11.9% decline in the >16T segment. Meanwhile, demand for artic vehicles also fell, by 3.1% to 4,246 units. 
 
Tractors remained the most popular vehicle, despite a 4.1% drop in demand, accounting for more than two fifths (42.8%) of the market. Skip loaders and box vans were the only segments to record growth in the quarter, up 11.1% and 2.4% respectively.
 
The overall decline is on a par with DfT’s latest road freight statistics which show goods lifted (the weight of goods carried, measured in tonnes) in the UK by GB-registered HGVs in the 12 months ending March 2018 fell by 7% to 1.37 billion tonnes, compared with the previous 12 months.