Truck registrations remain down but March brought a recovery of sorts
The dire start to this year’s new truck market eased slightly in March, with registrations of new trucks 6 tonnes GVW and over down by 26% on the same month last year.
This is the best monthly figure so far in 2014, but data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows the truck market remains 32% down after the first quarter, standing at 5,682.
Says SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes: “Truck demand remained subdued as the influence of Euro-6 legislation continues to be felt across the sector, but the level of impact has lessened steadily since January and should be minimal by mid-year."
Heavy rigid chassis (over 16 tonnes GVW) continue to be the hardest hit sector so far this year, with numbers 38% down on last year’s at this point. Tractor units are down by 26.1%.
This tough start to the year continues to play havoc with individual manufacturers’ market shares. That of market leader Daf has plunged from 27.2% in the first quarter of last year to 19.2% now.
Second-placed Mercedes-Benz [pictured] has prospered, its share rising from 14.2% to 16.4%. Scania’s year has started more slowly than the market as a whole, so its share has dipped from 14.5% to 13.0% for the year to date.
Conversely, Iveco is on the up, going from 10.2% to 12.9%, taking it from sixth to fourth in the table. Renault Trucks’ share has more than doubled, from 4.9% to 11.8%, taking the marque up to sixth in the table, hard on the heels of sister company Volvo Trucks.
MAN lost market share last year and that trend has continued in the first quarter of 2014, dropping to 7.2%, down from 10.8% a year ago.
The two Japanese light truck specialists, Isuzu Truck and Fuso, seem little affected by the general downturn and both have grown their market share, to 3.9% and 2.3% respectively.