‘Right conditions’ needed for low-emission HGV investment

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The SMMT has called for the “right conditions” to give operators confidence to invest in HGV fleets, and particularly in low emission vehicles, after demand fell in the third quarter.

Registrations of heavy goods vehicles declined 13.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2019, compared to Q3 2018 – according to the SMMT – as HGV operators pulled purchases forward into the first half of the year following the introduction of smart tachographs in June.

Some 8,557 HGVs (above 6 tonnes gross vehicle weight) were registered between July and September, with demand for rigid HGVs falling by a fifth (20.5 per cent) compared to Q3 2018. Registrations of artics fell 4.7 per cent, with artics accounting for 48 per cent of the market.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said, “Given the rush to register new trucks before the introduction of new regulations in June, the slowdown in quarter three was anticipated, and we expect to see the market to continue to rebalance in final part of the year.

“To curtail further losses, however, and to get more of these high-tech low emission vehicles on our roads, we need the right conditions to give operators confidence to continue to invest in their fleets.”

In Q1 – Q3 total registrations stood at 36,021, up 18.8 per cent year-on-year. Rigid registrations are up 16.2 per cent in the same period, with artic registrations up 22.4 per cent.

By Christopher Walton

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