In the UK, the number of registrations of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) decreased by -2.3% to 9,837 registrations in the first quarter of 2022, according to new data from the Society of Engine Manufacturers and Dealers (SMMT).
In the UK, the number of registrations of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) fell by -2.3% to 9,837 registrations in the first quarter of 2022, according to new data from the Society of Engine Manufacturers and Dealers (SMMT). The decline was 9,837 units registered in the first quarter, which is 227 less than the volatile first quarter of 2021, with the sector still some distance from full recovery after the pandemic by -17.1% lower than the first quarter of 2019.1
Although the demand for trucks, especially from the construction industry, remains high, the global shortage of semiconductors and raw materials, including steel and aluminum, has limited the supply of vehicles to fleet operators.
The number of rigid truck registrations decreased by -10.1% to 4975, which is slightly more than half (50.6%) of the market, while the number of articulated trucks increased by 7.4% to 4862 units. Demand for tractors, the largest segment, increased by 8.3% to 49.1% of the market. However, in all other segments there was a decrease, including vans (-13.7%), dump trucks (-16.0%), curtainsider trucks (-12.4%) and garbage trucks (-31.3%) %). In these segments with smaller volumes, fleet renewal cycles are more noticeable, and the level of registration is likely to artificially affect supply shortages.
Consumption varied widely across the UK. About four of the five new trucks were registered in England, down -2.8%, while registration in Scotland fell -14.0%. In Northern Ireland and Wales, 40.8% and 8.7% more trucks were registered than in the same period last year, respectively, although they together accounted for only 6.3% of registrations in the UK.
Mike Howes, CEO of SMMT, said:
Despite the many challenges facing the heavy truck sector, manufacturers remain resilient, striving to fulfill order books as soon as possible amid high demand for trucks with the latest technology. Although the recovery of the market after the pandemic is still frustrated by shortages and disruptions in supply chains, heavy truck operators considering their next investment in the fleet are advised to move early to provide new vehicles that meet the needs their business. The sector continues to play a crucial role in the UK economy and faces the same decarbonisation challenges as the rest of road transport. The recently announced government zero-emission heavy truck demonstration program will provide useful guidance to help operators plan their long-term fleet strategy.
1. Truck registrations in the first quarter of 2019: 11,859 units