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Good truck market shows in July registrations

06 August 2001 #HGVs #Registrations #SMMT News

Good truck market shows in July registrations

  • Total July market down 3.8 per cent
  • Total year to date market up 1.3 per cent
  • Light vans down 5.8 per cent
  • Car type pick-up market up 119.8 per cent
  • Medium vans up 0.8 per cent
  • Heavy vans and light trucks up 22 per cent
  • 7.5 tonne light trucks up 3.0 per cent
  • Two axle rigids over 15 tonnes – down 1.1 per cent
  • Multi axle rigids – up 18.9 per cent
  • Artics up 1.0 per cent
  • Buses and coaches down 48.6 per cent

Year to date CV registrations are up 1.3 per cent on the first seven months

of last year and at 178,002 are the highest first seven month registrations

for several years. July CV registrations were down 3.8 per cent by comparison

with July last year. This follows the third highest June registration figure

in 13 years.

Light vans, under 1.8 tonnes – down 5.8 per cent in July.

At 6,342 registrations in July, the light van sector is down 5.8 per cent on

the same period last year. But at 47,479 year to date, the sector is up 0.48

per cent. Vans in this class are mainly bought by small businesses and fears

over the economy probably delayed some investment decisions.

Car type pick-up market up 119.8 per cent

This market, though quite small, more than doubled this July to 545 registration

against its 248 units in July 2000. With some unresolved issues about the ability

to reclaim VAT on double-cab pick-ups, the market has been fairly static recently.

It remains to be seen if July’s performance is repeated and becomes a reliable


Medium vans, 2.6 to 3.5 tonnes – up 0.8 per cent.

Following a good month in June, medium van registrations were almost static

at 8,936 in July, just 0.8 per cent up on the figure for the same period last

year. This is another sector where low business confidence may be delaying investment


Heavy vans and light trucks, 3.5 to 7.4 tonnes – up 22 per cent.

This small but growing sector did very well, up 22 per cent this July on the

same period last year, with 69 more registrations than the 311 in the same period

last year. This sector should benefit from changes in light truck driving licences;

its growth should consistently outdo the CV market average.

7.5 tonne light trucks – up 3.0 per cent.

For many drivers the 7.5 tonner is the heaviest truck that can be driven on

a car licence issued before 1997. The sector is the biggest in the truck market,

usually taking between 25 and 30 per cent of registrations. July was no exception

with the 1,289 trucks at 28 per cent of truck registrations and up 3.0 per cent

on the same month last year. The sector will slowly decline but is still looking

good, as strong consumer demand fuels the retail market and its distribution


Two-axle rigids over 15 tonnes – down 1.1 per cent.

Serving the heavy end of the distribution market, the registrations were 1.1

per cent down at 630 against the same period last year.

Multi-axle rigids – up 18.9 per cent

By contrast, registrations for multi-axle rigids, basically to service the

construction industry, were up 96 units or 18.9 per cent on the same period

last year, reflecting growing business in this sector.

Artics – up 1.0 per cent.

The 1.0 per cent growth in artic registrations this July is welcome as it follows

a 12 per cent drop last month and very slow performance in the preceding few

months as hauliers digested the implications of recent taxation changes.

The figures also show a swing toward two-axle tractors, up 14 per cent on last

July. By contrast, three-axle tractor registrations were 5.2 per cent down on

their performance a year ago. July tractor registrations stood at roughly 35

per cent two-axle versus 65 per cent three-axle. In the past two or three years

the balance has swung wildly with tax incentives powering the pendulum. It will

be watched closely for its effect on the all important used tractor market.

Buses and coaches – down 48.6 per cent.

At only just over half its July 2000 level, the bus and coach market is in

a sorry state. The year to date figure of 2,283 registrations was 24.9 per cent

down on the first seven months of last year and probably reflects the slowdown

in orders at the beginning of this year. Manufacturers and importers are waiting

for an upturn, driven hopefully by increased investment in passenger transport

systems. But so far there are few signs of that recovery.


‘The heavy end of the market has shown some welcome growth after a rather quiet

few months and it looks as though this sector may end the year higher than some

of the earlier and more pessimistic predictions suggested’, said Christopher

Macgowan, chief executive of the SMMT. ‘The change of balance between two and

three-axle artic tractors will be something to watch, as it will affect residual

values of these high value capital investments,’ he added.


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