UK CV market growth continues in April
- Light vans up 13.1 per cent.
- Medium vans up 19.5 per cent.
- Heavy vans and light trucks up 17.1 per cent.
- 7.5 tonne trucks steady at + 0.8 per cent.
- >15 tonne two axle rigids up 44.8 per cent.
- Artics down 8.8 per cent.
- Buses and coaches down 30 per cent.
The UK commercial vehicle market continues to grow and remains above its
recent medium term average. The sound domestic economy is generating significant
levels of business, both as orders and enquiries. But some sectors are suffering
and there are worries that the US economic troubles may affect the UK toward
‘Commercial vehicles are business tools and buying patterns are dictated by
capital investment plans. This means that the market is generally less volatile,
though there is some nervousness about the effects of the US slow-down,’ said
Christopher Macgowan, chief executive at the SMMT. ‘The foot-and-mouth epidemic
seems to be responding to treatment, which will help some business confidence.
And although the imminent election may dent growth temporarily, the effects
will probably be less than some people expect,’
Light van registrations, up to 1.8 tonnes, grew 13.1 per cent to 6,211. Medium
vans, from 2.6 to 3.5 tonnes, grew 19.5 per cent to 10, 570. Vans in this weight
band are the heaviest commercial vehicles that can run without an Operator’s
Licence, and for a growing number of drivers, the heaviest commercial vehicle
they can drive on an ordinary car licence. For those reasons, this sector is
expected to keep growing.
The heavy van and light truck sector, covering vehicles from 3.5 to 7.4 tonnes
is also growing steadily, particularly on the back of the home delivery business.
Most home deliveries use heavy vans in this category, which grew 17.1 per cent
The market for 7.4 to 7.5 tonne trucks is the biggest single sector in the
UK truck market, generally accounting for over 25 per cent of all truck registrations
over 3.5 tonnes. In April the sector was steady at 0.8 per cent growth, to a
total of 1,182.
Registrations of two-axle trucks over 15 tonnes grew 44.8 per cent to 724.
These trucks are most used for distribution work and the growth in this area
reflects the strength of that business sector. Overall, registrations for all
two-axle trucks, the workhorses of the nation’s delivery and distribution fleet,
grew 10.9 per cent to 2,578.
Artic tractor registrations were down 8.8 per cent to 1,315, probably affected
by the foot-and-mouth epidemic and other nervousness earlier in the year.
Bus and coach registrations dropped to 367 or 30 per cent down on last year.
The market has been, and remains, affected by a concentration of passenger transport
investment in the rail sector.