New truck sales down as SMMT warns of "declining operator confidence"


Registrations of new HGVs fell 2.6% in 2017, with rigids bearing the brunt of the drop while the artic market remained stable, leading to the SMMT to call for “business certainty” from the government amidst “declining operator confidence”.

Overall new registrations stood at 45,045 units for 2017, down from 46,231 in 2016. The final quarter of the year was down 9.5% year-on-year to 12,271 units, compared to 13,555 in the final quarter of 2016.

Rigid sales particularly suffered in 2017, with the overall market down 5%, from 26,882 units to 25,535 units. Rigids above 16-tonne GVW saw the worst fall, down 6.7% from 17,012 to 15,875 units.

Rigids between 6-tonne and 16-tonne GVW, which includes some heavy vans, fell 2.1% year-on-year to 9,660.

Looking at registrations as a whole, rigids accounted for 56.7% of all unit sales with artics responsible for 43.3%.

The only market to grow in 2017 was 3-axle artics, up 2.2% to 17,362 units in 2017, beating 2016s total of 16,982. This helped to offset the 9.1% fall in 2-axle artics, traditionally a more niche product for international operators, which was down 9.1% to 2,148 units.

Overall artic sales rose 0.8% to 19,510 in 2017, compared to 19,356 in 2016. It also came despite a 7.5% drop in 3-axle artic sales in the final quarter of the year.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Following two years of robust growth and the long cycles involved in heavy goods fleet renewal, it’s no surprise to see deliveries fall in 2017.

“However, declining operator confidence is also starting to take its toll on demand. To avoid long-term disruption, government must address economic and political concerns and restore the business certainty needed for this important market to prosper."


DAF once again topped market share for the year with 29.5% of all sales between 6t GVW and 44t GVW. In terms of units it registered 13,301, down 4.4% compared to 2016s 13,911 units.

Mercedes came second with a 16.9% share seeing it register 7,631 units, up 9% year-on-year.Scania took third place with 15.5%, a strong performance considering its range only starts at 16-tonne GVW. Its overall unit registrations fell 6.4% year-on-year to 6,990.

Volvo came fourth, seeing a 1.5% year-on-year rise with 5,819 units. It took 12.9% of the market.

Iveco managed to finish the year holding on to fifth in market share (7.7%: 3,475 units), no doubt benefiting from  a much-hinted growth in registrations of its 7-tonne and 7.2-tonne Daily offering. Overall Iveco sales only fell 1.9% year-on-year.

MAN came sixth with 3,355 units registered and a 7.5% share, but saw year-on-year sales drop 17.6%.

Perennially seventh in the rankings Renault stayed steady with 2,065 units registered and a 4.6% market share.

Outside of the major manufacturers, the refuse disposal market had a very strong fourth quarter to 2017, up from 527 to 588 units registered.

Dennis Eagle had a strong 2017, up 19.9% year-on-year with 760 units registered and 1.7% of the overall market.

Teletrac Navman designs seatbelt monitoring system for HGV drivers

Teletrac Navman has developed a new seatbelt monitoring system suitable for HGV drivers.

It enables fleet managers to have an overview of driver seatbelt usage across their entire fleet, with real-time alerts and scheduled reporting.

This lets them identify drivers who aren’t wearing seatbelts, as well as those who routinely fail to wear them, meaning repeated breaches can be addressed.

The seatbelt safety system can be integrated with Teletrac Navman’s fleet management software, Director for Transport.

Teletrac Navman ran an online poll ahead of the product launch to gain insight into current driver attitudes towards seatbelts.

The results showed nearly half (42%) of drivers thinking it is okay to be seatbelt-free when they are frequently in and out of the cab. Some 28% thought it was acceptable when driving a short distance of between 10-100m, with a further 26% thinking non-usage is acceptable when driving off public roads.

Peter Millichap, UK marketing director at Teletrac Navman, said: “You can’t predict when an accident will happen.

“Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision, even on a short, familiar journey or when driving at low speeds, so we’re really pleased to introduce yet another driver safety product which will make a difference on the roads.

He added: “The product will encourage seatbelt safety whenever a driver is behind the wheel, to keep your mobile assets, the general public and drivers safer.”