Truck market returns to form with sharp upturn in registrations

After finishing last year on a quiet note, the truck market has started 2015 in much better shape with a sharp upturn in registrations in January.

According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), registrations of new trucks of 6-tonne GVW or more last month were 43.4% up on January 2014. However, the start of last year was the second slowest on record, so the comparison may be misleading. Last month’s total of 2,094 new trucks is still almost 20% below the 10-year January average. Forecasts for 2015 suggest registrations will grow by 10% to 15%, giving a truck market only 2% to 7% below the 10-year average.

“The truck market posted a strong return to form in January,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “Changes to Euro standards and type approval regulations in 2014 affected demand last year, and now we are starting to see a return to business as usual.”

A huge surge in tractor units accounted for most of last month’s growth. Their numbers more than doubled, up from 499 to 1,073. The increase in the number of rigid chassis of 6 tonne GVW or more was just 6.2%, taking their total to 1,021.

If January’s figures are anything to go by, Daf’s long-standing comfortable leadership of the UK truck market is about to face its stiffest challenge yet. Its market share of 23.0% in January is just a whisker ahead of Mercedes-Benz’s 22%. However Daf managing director Ray Ashworth is confident that by the year end, Daf’s share will be back up to its usual level of around 28%.

Scania took third spot in the January registrations figures with a market share of 16.8%, followed by Volvo Trucks (14.7%) and Iveco (6.8%).

This news story is sponsored by EMS Truck & Trailer Parts Ltd