Scania Great Britain MD Martin Hay says there are clear signs that the UK truck industry is getting back on its feet, and highlights the data collected by its connected services as evidence. “We are seeing week-on-week increases in miles travelled,” he explained, “with last week showing a 5% growth.”
It’s not just mileages that are increasing, as so too are the number of trucks on the road. He said some customers who had initially SORN vehicles are starting to put them back into service, and this is reflected in both Scania’s workshop activity and demand for spare parts.
With regard to Scania's ability to support its customers in difficult circumstances, Hay commented: "Our dealership and support centre staff have done a fantastic job by adapting to the challenge to help keep our customers on the road – I cannot praise them highly enough."
Another positive sign noted by Hay are the conversations Scania is having with its fleet customers. He told Commercial Motor that over the past fortnight some fleets have started to plan for their Christmas peaks, which has resulted in an increased order intake.
While the supermarkets and parcel carriers appear to be particularly buoyant, Hay believes construction will be the next sector to show signs of recovery. “Construction appears to be starting-up again in a phased manner,” he explained. “The HS2 contracts have been awarded, so companies are starting to buy trucks again to fulfil these requirements. And that’s really positive.”
Hay said he recently discussed these “green shoots” with some of his colleagues, and questioned whether they were no more than a false dawn. “But actually I don’t believe that’s the case,” he said. “I think the growth we are witnessing will be complemented further by the government’s approach to lockdown, as it starts to lift certain things over the next month or so.”