Drop in HGV sales eases but SMMT warns of tough times ahead
New HGV registrations fell by 1.6% in the third quarter of 2020 according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Sales were down to 8,419 units compared with 8,557 the previous year, leaving the market down 39.6% year-to-date with a total of 21,763 vehicles sold, compared with 2019’s equivalent of 36,021.
Tractor unit sales fell by 17.1% to 3,399 units during the quarter – down from 4,100 a year ago. Rigids, however, bucked the downward trend, collectively rising by 12.6% to 5,020 units – up from 4,457 in quarter three 2019 – with the lightest 6- to 16-tonne category recording an especially strong 20.8% rise.
Year-to-date, rigid truck sales are down 35.1% to 13,226 units compared with 2019’s equivalent 20,370, while artics are down 45% to 8,537 units compared with 15,651 a year ago.
“While Q3 saw some stability return to the HGV market, this may well be short-lived amid fresh autumn lockdowns across Wales and England,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.
“These lockdowns should serve as a reminder of the critical role the industry plays in keeping the country’s shelves stocked with vital supplies, and the need to provide operators with business certainty and confidence.
“As the end of 2020 approaches, this will mean a redoubling of efforts to secure a zero-tariff trade deal with EU, as well as promoting fleet renewal to help drive a green recovery for the sector, and the UK.”
Velocity goes potholing with Isuzu
Road repair specialist Velocity has taken delivery of two Isuzu F110.210 (E) rigids for pothole maintenance duties.
Supplied by Thompson Commercials, they were fitted with custom “road repair” bodies by Velocity at its manufacturing facility in Sunderland.
The vehicles are already in service, having initially been deployed in Cornwall, and are said to allow the company to attend up to 200 potholes a day, specifically on parts of the road network with restricted access.
“In some rural areas, narrow lanes are inaccessible for the larger machines in our fleet,” said the company’s MD Dominic Gardner, “designed in collaboration with our customer Cormac, these new machines allow us to access those roads and increase productivity.”
“The two new Isuzus deliver an increase in payload and increased reliability, together with easier operation and maintenance,” added Isuzu’s fleet sales manager, Jon Corcoran, “this increased productivity comes from the combination of the Isuzu chassis with the specialist Velocity patching body that has been built based on many years of their road repair expertise.”