New heavy-truck market declines in first quarter

Posted on 31 May 2018 and read 427 times
New heavy-truck market declines in first quarterThe UK’s new heavy-goods vehicle (HGV) market declined in the first quarter of 2018, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

These show that 9,785 new commercial vehicles over six tonnes were registered, a fall of 6.0% compared with Q1 2017. That said, registrations of ‘artic trucks’ increased in the first quarter of 2018, up 6.6% to 4,171 units, while demand for rigid vehicles fell by 13.5%.

There were also falls of 21.6%in the 6-16 tonnes segment and 8.4% in the larger than 16 tonnes segment. Refuse disposal vehicles saw the biggest increase in demand, up 7.3% compared with Q1 2017.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive (, said: “Fluctuating fleet orders are a natural feature of the HGV market; following strong demand in Q1 2017, this fall isn’t altogether unexpected, but it marks the third consecutive quarter of decline.

"We need government to create the right conditions to give operators confidence to invest in their fleets and get more of the latest, safest and low-emission commercial vehicles onto our roads.”

Meanwhile, the UK’s new bus and coach market fell for the fifth consecutive quarter in the first quarter of 2018, with the 1,793 units registered representing a fall of 4.5% compared with Q1 2017.

Double-deck vehicles saw the biggest decline in demand, falling by 37.8% to 301 units, while the number of single-deck vehicles fell by 18.0% to 461.

That said, the demand for minibuses bucked the trend, reversing five quarters of negative growth with registrations up by almost a quarter (24.1%).

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