The new heavy goods vehicle (HGV) market declined -2.6 per cent in 2017 following two years of strong growth, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 45,045 heavy trucks were registered last year, a result of fluctuating fleet buying cycles and ongoing economic uncertainty, mirroring similar declines in the new van market.
Demand for rigid vehicles declined -5.0 per cent in the year, with a -2.1% fall in the 6-16T segment and a -6.7 per cent decrease in registrations of 16T vehicles. Meanwhile, demand for artic vehicles remained steady, finishing the year up 0.8 per cent at 19,510 units.
Tractors continued to be the most popular choice, accounting for 43.1 per cent of the market, while dropside trucks also boosted their share, rising 9.2 per cent. However, refuse disposal vehicles experienced the biggest increase in demand, up 22.7 per cent compared with 2016.
The SMMT says that declining operator confidence is 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.