The commercial vehicle market hit an all-time high last year with registrations of vans and trucks up almost 17 per cent on 2014 at 423,894 units, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The truck market was up 25.5 per cent to 52,064 registrations, bouncing back strongly from the Euro 6 induced doldrums of 2014.
“This is excellent news for the commercial vehicle industry, and indeed the economy, with registrations of both vans and trucks posting strong gains, up 16.7 per cent in total on 2014,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
“CV demand is a key barometer of UK economic confidence and the market’s strong growth in 2015 was particularly encouraging. However, with these record figures in mind, we will expect to see the market levelling off slightly in 2016.”
Growth was strongest among artics where registrations were 35.6 per cent up on 2014 at 21,134. Rigids were up 19.5 per cent at 30,930 units.
The strongest growth in the van market came in the 25-3.5 tonne sector which was 21 per cent up at 222,343 units.
DAF maintained its market leadership in the market for trucks over 6 tonnes with a share of 26 per cent – up from 24.8 per cent in 2014. It was followed by Mercedes (18.3 per cent) and Scania (16 per cent).
These three, along with Volvo, all outperformed the market. The others, MAN, Iveco, Renault, Isuzu, Dennis Eagle, Mitsubishi Fuso and Hino, all saw growth below the market average.
DAF Trucks managing director Ray Ashworth said: “With the single exception of the Euro-5 ‘pull-through’ year of 2013, not since 1988 has the heavy end of market been in such rude health.”
“With our own forecast slightly skewed by an extraordinary overall market performance,” continued Ray Ashworth. “We have ended the year on a high and maintained clear daylight ahead of our nearest competitors, and, indeed, increased our market share by 1.2 percentage points on 2014. We’re certainly looking good for 2016.”