End of the line for Seddon Atkinson

Iveco has upset dealers by deciding to follow in the footsteps of Paccar and dump its 'niche' UK brand.

An Iveco spokesman confirms: "As from the introduction of Euro-4 in October, Iveco will no longer be producing Seddon Atkinson vehicles.

"The cost of designing a new municipal and refuse vehicle along with Euro-4 engine type approval has proved prohibitive - particularly as Seddon Atkinson registered just 284 units last year."

Paccar gave notice of its planned retirement of Foden to dealers and the press last August. Iveco, by way of contrast, issued no press release and is understood to have upset dealers with its letter to the network in March.

"We are currently in open discussions with the network over what opportunities may exist," the spokesman reports.

The closure of Seddon Atkinson also signals Iveco's withdrawal from the manufacture of low-entry refuse trucks which are popular with UK waste collection operators.

"Seddon Atkinson had been part of a European project to develop a new range of low-entry trucks, but the costs associated meant the project was not viable," the spokesman adds.

The Seddon Atkinson offices in Oldham will close at the end of the year, with personnel re-deployed elsewhere in the Iveco organisation "where vacancies exist". The Oldham factory was closed in 2004 when production shifted to Iveco's factory in Madrid.

The biggest stories of 2009

With the haulage industry having had a tough time in 2009, it's no surprise that the keywords in Roadtransport.com's list of most-read stories include 'administration', 'liquidation' and 'redundancies'.

However, Lincoln-based Denby Transport also made the top read for two consecutive months, after thousands of you looked into its failed attempt to trial longer, heavier vehicles (LHVs) on UK roads. Throw in the Royal Mail strikes and VOSA introducing online booking for HGV tests, and we can reveal the most popular story for each month of 2009:

Read our full round-up of 2009 on the Road Transport Blog.