The market for heavy goods vehicles reached 22,177 units in the first half of 2017, its highest level since 2008, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The first half was 3.5 per cent on last year, reflecting a strong performance in the second quarter when registrations were 6.3 per cent up on last year at 11,771 units. The SMMT said manufacturers delivered several large orders to fleets in quarter two.
Heavy trucks made the largest gains, with three axle artics rising 11.6 per cent. Lighter 6.0-16t rigids also saw significant 8.6 per cent growth. Demand for rigids over 16t and two axle artics declined, with respective falls of -4.4 per cent and -15.0 per cent.
DAF maintained first half market leadership at over 30 per cent, although its registrations were flat compared to last year. Mercedes performed to take second spot with 15.7 per cent share. Scania took third place with 15.3 per cent, although its registrations were down slightly on last year.
SMMT chief Mike Hawes said: “Commercial vehicles are critical to keeping our country moving, and with all new trucks featuring low emission Euro VI diesel technology and some of the latest safety and autonomous features, it’s great to see more of them joining British roads.
“However, while manufacturers have benefited from an increase in orders in this particular quarter, given the varying nature of fleet renewal in the sector, it is vital that government works to maintain the conditions that will give operators confidence to invest.”