The commercial vehicle market hit a five year high driven by the imminent arrival of the Euro 6 regulations for heavy trucks combined with continuing strong demand for vans.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show a 237 per cent increase in registrations of trucks over six tonnes in December compared to a year earlier.
This reflects the fact that companies have been determined to complete their fleet purchases ahead of the Euro 6 regulations which came in from 1st January.
Some 10,715 trucks over six tonnes were registered compared with 3,183 in December last year. It means that for the full year, the market was up 28 per cent on last year at 49,430.
DAF maintained its position as market leader with a 28 per cent market share. Mercedes consolidated its second place with and increase in market share to almost 18 per cent while both Scania and Volvo performed strongly to maintain third and fourth places respectively. Iveco also gained ground with a 30 per cent improvement on last year.
Ray Ashworth, managing director at DAF Trucks, said: “The derogation rules, which meant that any Euro 5 vehicles built in the last quarter of 2013 had to be registered before the 31st December, the push to secure Reduced Pollution Certificates for Euro 6 compliant vehicles before the scheme closed to new vehicles on the same date, and a renewed confidence in the UK economy pushed December’s registrations to more than three times the level we saw in December 2012.
“The high volumes also suggest that many vehicles that could have been derogated to enter service during 2014 have actually gone on the road already.”
The van market was up 13 per cent year on year, at 271,073. Ford was market leader with a 25 per cent share followed by Volkswagen, Vauxhall and Mercedes.
“The 2013 commercial vehicle market rose 14.7 per cent, making it the best performance in the last five years,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.
“Boosted by a strong second half to the year, the truck market rose to pass 56,000 units, while van owners and operators responded positively to the wider economic recovery finishing the year more than 13 per cent up on 2012.
“The introduction of new Euro 6 trucks will be of key interest to the heavy end of the market in 2014, while we expect the forthcoming launches of several new light commercial vans to deliver further growth in this important sector.”