The number of registrations in the UK heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market fell in the second quarter of 2018.
This follows the pattern shown in other figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which reveal downturns in the registrations in the UK bus and coach market, and a fall centred around the light commercial vehicle market.
For the HGV market, 10,670 of these vehicles were registered in the second quarter of 2018. This is 9.4% less than the corresponding figure of 2017, which was 11,771.
For the year to date as well, the HGV market suffered, according to SMMT data. This year up to now, 20,455 HGVs have been registered. This is in comparison to 22,177 in 2017 – a fall of 7.8%.
It should be said that the registrations in the UK HGV market last year were higher than initially than any time since 2008, so the fall doesn’t perhaps look as bad as it is.
However, what is difficult to ignore is the fact that the pattern of uncertainty regarding the political situation and clean air targets hitting registrations is not exclusive to the HGV market.
This situation has been repeated for light commercial vehicles as well as the bus and coach sector.
And Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said better conditions are needed if business confidence is going to be such that investment is encouraged.
He said: “While the fall in registrations follows strong demand in 2017, this quarter marks the fourth consecutive decline for the HGV market.
“Ongoing political and economic uncertainty, coupled with concern around patchwork of different local authority clean air zones, has clearly had an impact.
“We need the right conditions to give operators confidence to invest in their fleets, ensuring this important market can continue to prosper.”
The biggest fall in registrations was seen in rigids between 6 to 16 tonnes, and until certainty returns, these problems will remain.