HGVs Registrations SMMT News

June CV market down, but still up year to date

04 July 2002 #HGVs #Registrations #SMMT News

June CV market down, but still up year to date

  • June CV registrations down 4.8 per cent, YTD figures up 2.4 per cent
  • Light CV registrations 3.9 per cent down in June
  • June truck registrations fell 9.9 per cent; over 15t down 5.4 per cent
  • Bus & coach registrations up 5.5 per cent on June 2001

June CV registrations were modestly down, in part reflecting three fewer trading

and data processing days this year compared to the same month last year. ‘Growth

slowed over the first half of the year, as it has in many other areas of the

economy. But, for the six months to June registrations are healthily above the

five year average and last year’s very positive performance,’ said SMMT chief

executive Christopher Macgowan.

The CV market fell by 1,324 units or 4.8 per cent over last June’s total of

27,512 registrations. Despite this June’s weaker volume, four months growth

in the first six months of 2002 ensured the registration total for the year

to date remained 2.4 per cent ahead of that for the same period in 2001.

There were 158,447 CV registrations over the first six months of 2002 compared

with 155,251 units for the same period last year. The 12 month moving annual

total is 317,137 units, still up on the 2001 full year total of 313,411 units.

The SMMT expects that the 2002 full year total will be between 305,000 and 315,000,

some four to seven per cent ahead of the annual average of 293,800 set over

the 1997 to 2001 period.

June registrations continue to reflect and build on recent key market trends.

The SMMT expects slower growth in the months ahead. Strong sales growth earlier

in the year and only a modest slow down in UK domestic demand over the next

six months should see the annual market close to par with that of 2001.

Van registrations were very good, particularly in the heavier van ranges (2.6-3.5

GVW). Pick-ups did well too this month. Further growth in bus and coach registrations

in June concluded a very encouraging growth trend over the first half of this

year, but against a distinctly below par period in 2001. Truck registrations

dipped again in June after a long period of sustained demand. The pace of this

modest decline looks set to continue.

Consumer spending has slowed modestly, but still remains too strong and debt-focused;

it is expected to slow further and to be nudged by increases in interest rates.

However, the timing and scale of interest rate rises is being delicately judged

as private demand and confidence is especially fragile.

Key sectors of the CV market still reflect the strong domestic economy, but

in other sectors growth prospects are weaker. As such the CV market reflects

activity throughout the economy: a turning point has been reached, but markets

are turning in different directions.

Light commercial vehicle registrations down 3.9 per cent

LCV registrations, at 21,611, dropped 883 units in June. The main losses came

from the 1.8 to 2.6 tonne GVW sector, with registrations down 22.3 per cent;

4×4 utilities down 25.7 per cent and car derived vans to 1.8 tonne GVW, down

793 units or 11.7 per cent compared with the June 2001 market

Car type pick-up registrations continued their recent remarkable growth run,

up by 273 units, 48.8 per cent. The heavy van segment, 2.6 to 3.5 tonne GVW,

is now the backbone of the LCV sector, accounting for 58 per cent of all LCV

registrations for the month. Registrations here were up by 2.6 per cent on the

total for June last year.

New truck registrations down 9.9 per cent

UK truck registrations dropped every month since February this year. But, the

underlying market volume remains reasonably sound, with the 12 month moving

annual total near to 54,000. SMMT expects that annual demand will continue to

slow though this year ending at around 51,500 units.

Pockets of growth continue within the UK truck market, but mainly at the very

light end. Two-axle-rigids, 3.5 to 7.4 tonnes GVW, are up on a year-on-year

basis by 17.0 per cent for the first six months of the year.

Three axle rigid registrations recorded an increase of 15.6 per cent in June,

helping to lift the year to date total up by 1.6 per cent. Artic registrations

continue to bear the brunt of the slow-down in the truck market, but this month

registrations fell by just 1.9 per cent to 1,373 units. This is above June 1999’s

1,340 total, but significantly down on 2000’s 1,585.

As truck registrations lag between three and five months behind orders, registrations

in June represent sales made in February to April.

Bus & coach registrations on par with June 2001

Although June 2002’s bus and coach registrations, at 385 were above 1999 and

2001 June market volumes they remain overshadowed by the June 2000 total of

444 units. Registration volumes over the first six months are up by 8.9 per

cent to 2,240 units, after falling by more than a fifth in the same period of


With the encouraging performance of the first half of the year easing some

of the anxieties and uncertainties after September 2001, the SMMT expects that

the bus and coach market will see 3,900 registrations in 2002. This will be

3.5 per cent up on the 2001 total of 3,763, but still under-performing 2000’s

total of 4,381.


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