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Truck sales subdued while other sectors thrive

06 August 2014 #Bus and Coach #News #Sales #Top Stories #Truck #Van

Van registrations in July saw the sector continuing its strong period of growth, although the truck market was still affected by the surge of registrations at the end of 2013. Meanwhile, the bus market enjoyed a progressive month, while the coach sector struggled.

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed positive signs for the overall van sector, as it recorded a 34.5% increase on the same month last year pushing the year-to-date figures to 18.9% ahead of 2013.

Vans between 2.0 and 2.5 tonnes and 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes, as well as 4×4 vehicles saw the biggest increases in registrations compared to July 2013 at 78.3%, 32.7% and 30.1% respectively. The 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes and 4×4 sectors saw their year-to-date figures compared to 2013 extended to 42.4% and 24.4% respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The commercial vehicle market has delivered another strong month overall, driven by an impressive number of van registrations. This reflects growing business confidence in the economy and the variety of highly capable and efficient vans on the market.”

The commercial vehicle sector as a whole grew by 25.8% compared to the same month in 2013, and sees the year-to-date figures extended to 13.1% ahead of the first seven months of last year.

The truck market continues to struggle with the over 16 tonne sector showing the only increase (7.4%) in July. The two and three-axle artics markets suffered the most, seeing registrations fall by 68% and 23.7%, respectively, compared to the same month last year, leaving the artic sector 25.5% and the rigids 19.8% behind the year-to-date.

Hawes added, “The truck sector is continuing a downward trend brought about by an influx of orders at the end of 2013 due to incoming Euro-6 standards. There is increasing positivity in the market, however, which should see registrations return to normal levels over the coming months.”

Meanwhile the purpose-built bus market enjoyed a strong month as its registrations rose by 69.8% on July 2013. The biggest winners in this sector were the double-deck buses, single-deck buses between 12 and 16 tonnes, and single-deck buses between 8.5 and 12 tonnes, which saw 119.5%, 78.4% and 46.4% increases respectively.

The coach sector, however, had a less impressive July, as it decreased by 27.4% on the same month last year. Despite the decline, only purpose-built single-deck coaches over 16 tonnes posted a decrease of 42.9%, while both the coaches between 3.5 and 16 tonnes and the double-deck variants posted positive registration figures of 250% and 100% respectively over July 2013.

Hawes added, “July proved a good month for the bus and coach market, with registrations posting a 20.3% growth. The strong showing was thanks to a 69.8% rise in purpose-built buses, which offset a 27.4% fall in coach registrations. The overall picture for buses and coaches remains positive, with the past 12 months showing a 14.5% growth.”

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