UK truck registrations lagged behind European rivals in first quarter of 2017


Registrations of new heavy commercial vehicles in the UK in the first quarter of 2017 have struggled to match growth figures in other major European economies, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

As the industry awaits a more detailed look at new registrations in the first quarter of 2017 from the SMMT – figures are expected this month – data published by the ACEA shows that registrations of vehicles above 16-tonne GVW in the UK grew by just 0.6% compared to the same quarter in 2016.

However, new registrations of medium and heavy commercial vehicles in the UK above 3.5-tonne GVW grew 5% year-on-year.

The ACEA said that in its heavy commercial vehicles classification 8,322 new trucks were registered in Q1 2017 in the UK, compared to 8,270 in Q1 2016.

In comparison Germany saw a 4.9% rise in new heavy commercial vehicle registrations to 16,826, while France grew 5.7% to 10,672.

However, the UK was more robust in the ACEA’s medium and heavy commercial vehicles above 3.5tonne GVW classification: Q1 registrations grew 5% to 11,730. Germany grew 3.4% in the quarter to 22,986 while France grew 5.9% to 12,399.

The AECA said: “From January to March 2017, 91,665 new trucks were registered in the European Union, 4.7% more than last year… the five big markets posted growth, jointly sustaining positive momentum across the whole region.”

Of more concern to the domestic market would be estimated figures produced by the ACEA for registrations in March in the UK – traditionally a strong month for new vehicle sales.

It estimated heavy commercial vehicles fell 11.7% to 3,749 (compared to 4,246 in March 2016) while medium and heavy commercial vehicles fell 6.4%.

The SMMT no longer reports month-by-month new truck registration data.

Quick Questions: Commercial Motor meets Stuart Wolstenholme, used truck sales manager, West Pennine Trucks Scania

West Pennine Trucks Scania V8

Commercial Motor aftermarket editor Roger Brown talks to Stuart Wolstenholme, used truck sales manager, West Pennine Trucks Scania, who reveals he loves fell running and enjoys mountain cycling.

RB: What is your favourite holiday destination?
SW: Bourg d’Oisans and Annecy in the French Alps. With stunning scenery and perfect roads over high mountain passes it’s cycling nirvana.

RB: What car do you drive?
SW: A BMW 330d M-Sport.

RB: What are your hobbies?
SW: Anything outdoors. Fell running and racing, road and mountain cycling, walking the dog and camping.

RB: How did you get into the industry?
SW: My grandfather was a coal merchant and I used to ride in his truck during the school holidays. When the opportunity to join West Pennine Trucks came up I jumped at it. I found the people and products around the truck industry fascinating, there’s always a tale to be told and never a dull day.

RB: How would you encourage more young people into the industry?
SW: Take trucks into schools, both primary and secondary. Get them interested from a young age. Show them the different trucks and jobs available and educate them on how important transport and logistics is in getting items from the shop or field to their house.

RB: What is the outlook for your sector of the market over the next 12 months?
SW: It’s going to be a challenging 12 months, but it will be an exciting challenge. We have a large range of high quality used Scanias that are well prepared and ready to go on the road across our sites in Middleton, Trafford Park and Stoke. As more used trucks enter the market we’ll continue to match the right trucks to the right people.

RB: What has been the reaction from customers to the introduction of the Next Generation range of Scania trucks?
SW: Genuinely excellent. Many of our customers have commented on the improvements to the cab and its overall build quality. I have a feeling it will be a while before the used team get their hands on any!

RB: Are Euro-6 Scanias beginning to enter the used market in great numbers?
SW: We’ve got a few rigids and V8 Scanias but no great numbers as of yet.