Truck sales match twenty year record
By: Dave Robbins
23 January 2014
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Truck registrations soared by 93% during the final quarter of 2013 according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Nearly 11,550 new trucks were registered in December alone – the highest monthly total for 20 years.
So are transport operators preparing themselves for a super busy 2014? Not quite. The reason behind this steep upward jerk in statistics was more to do with a scramble to register the final batch of Euro 5 trucks before the end of the year. This move saved canny operators up to £10,000 on a 6x2 tractor unit, compared to the latest Euro 6 versions.
However, look a bit further behind the headline figures and it is clear that the industry is looking ahead to brighter days. Overall the truck market grew strongly in 2013 with over 56,000 registrations – that’s 23% up on 2012. If you add van sales, the total commercial vehicle market was up 14.7% -- making it the best year since 2008.
Also interesting is analysis produced by truck manufacturer Iveco which highlights growth in vehicles used by specific industry sectors. As a for instance, registrations of four axle rigids soared by 58%. Often used as platforms for tippers, this could be an indication that the construction industry is recovering well. Tractor units – the workhorse of long distance haulage – were up 32% with Mercedes Benz grabbing the biggest market share.
Elsewhere it looks like the much predicted death of the 7.5 tonner was premature; sales in 2013 increased by 19%. As for other light commercials, 271,000 new vehicles were sold, up 13%. Vans between 2 .0 and 2.5 tonnes – the vehicle of choice for tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians and decorators – shot up by almost 28%. This does perhaps suggest that there’s more confidence around and if people aren’t moving house, they’ve certainly got the wherewithal to spend on home improvements.