Demand for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) declined in the third quarter of the year, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
According to SMMT’s figures, new HGVs registered in Q3 of 2018 hit 9,853; when compared to the same time of last year – when registrations hit 10,597 – the decrease was recorded at 7%.
The main reasons for the decline were the ongoing decrease in business confidence – hindered in no small part by Brexit uncertainty – and the fluctuations in the purchase of HGV fleets by British businesses.
Most types of HGVs on the market suffered a decline in registrations; rigids between 6 – 16 tonnes fell by 6%, and for those weighing more than 16 tonnes, the fall was even more marked at 11.9%, meaning all rigids fell by nearly 10%.
For arctics, the overall fall was in excess of 3%; although there was a 9.1% increase in the registration of 2-axle arctics, the bulk of registrations came in 3+-axle arctics. Given these fell by 4.6%, it meant an overall fall for all arctics.
The pattern follows what was seen in the second quarter of 2018, which saw a downturn of 9.4%.
For the year-to-date, more than 30,000 HGVs have been registered. However, this is 7.5% less than at the same point of last year.
Mike Hawes, the Chief Executive of SMMT, said that it is a matter of great importance that the government tackle economic and political uncertainty if registrations of HGVs are to prosper once again.
He said: “While fluctuating fleet buying cycles are a natural feature of the HGV market, given this quarter marks the fifth consecutive decline, there is no doubt that a fall in operator confidence is having an impact on registrations of these big ticket purchases.
“Government must address the current economic and political uncertainty if we are to get more of these high-tech, ultra-low emission vehicles on to our roads, and to ensure the sector can prosper.”