Overview of the UK Commercial Vehicle Industry: 2014 Edition

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Published by Road Transport Media, January 2014, in partnership with Texaco Lubricants and with associated sponsorship from Continental Tyres.

This annual report, now in its fourth year, offers an in-depth analysis of the UK commercial vehicle and road freight transport industry. We analyse the statistics, the trends and, crucially, the attitudes and issues which inform the buying process. While the report is targeted at anyone involved in this crucial sector of the UK economy, suppliers and investors in the sector will find it particularly valuable as it investigates some of the key challenges facing this market as the economy emerges from recession.

What will you learn from the report?

  • The vehicle purchasing habits and decisions of 500 UK road transport operators;
  • Trends in commercial vehicle maintenance;
  • Measures taken by fleet operators to improve fuel efficiency;
  • The total make-up and breakdown of the UK commercial vehicle parc;
  • Commercial vehicle registrations for last year and forecasts for the year ahead;
  • Operational challenges faced by the commercial vehicle industry.

The extensive research is in two parts; the first is a qualitative assessment of the state of the UK commercial vehicle industry, which includes analysis of sales trends by weight, axle configuration, and body type; analysis of the existing commercial vehicle parc and trends which may change that profile; and the number of trailers operational in the UK. We examine why the licensed CV parc is shrinking; why the second hand market is suffering a lack of stock and the impact of Euro-6 emissions legislation on buying patterns and vehicle efficiency. We examine the power dynamic within the sector, with half of the O-licences in the hands of micro businesses and 3% of the largest operators running 44% of the UK fleet. We examine the underpinning of freight demand by the retail, manufacturing, construction and agricultural sectors and the effects of an expanding e-retail market o logistics operation.

 

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We look at the pressures on costs and rates within the logistics sector and the impending skills shortage compounded by the Driver CPC.

Part II, based on the Texaco Operator Research Programme, examines the vehicle parc and buying patterns for 500 UK road transport operators across three fleet sizes; 5-25; 26-50 and 51+. We uncover the preferred sourcing methods for vehicles and how vehicle operators acquired almost twice the vehicles they expected to in 2013. Furthermore we offer evidence that the dire pessimism of the vehicle manufacturers concerning sales following the introduction of Euro-6 is over-stated and most operators predict another healthy year of acquisition, despite 40% having pulled forward sales to avoid Euro-6 price increases. This research also looks at the uptake and effectiveness of fuel economy interventions, and operators’ consternation about the effects of Driver CPC on the labour market.

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Slice and dice the operator data now

Part II of the UK Commercial Vehicle Industry Report is based on an exclusive survey of 500 UK-based commercial vehicle operators, asking them about their purchasing habits and attitudes around key issues such as fuel efficiency and Driver CPC. A selection of this data is available below for you to explore and interrogate by region, fleet size and sector.