Daf truck

Daf still leading the new truck sales chart

Total commercial vehicle registrations fell during 2012, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with Volvo faring the worst across the twelve month period.

Registrations from January to December were down 5.9% across truck and vans, with the decline directly attributable to lower light commercial vehicle sales.

Registrations of commercial vehicles above 3.5 tonnes were up 6.4% on 2011 figures, while vans (registrations below 3.5 tonnes) were down 7.9%. Truck registrations were particularly strong amongst rigid vehicles, with figures for the year showing an increase of 28.8% for vehicles between 3.5 tonnes and six tonnes, 15.2% for rigid trucks up to 16 tonnes, and 11.4% for vehicles over 16 tonnes. This saw registrations increase from the 24,524 units recorded in 2011 to 28,605 units in 2012, an increase of 16.6%. Artics fell when compared with the previous year, with 17,097 truck registrations in 2012, down 7.2% on 2011’s 18,420 units.

Daf once again lead the pack above six tonnes with 11,153 total registrations throughout the year, an increase of 13.1%. Scania also recorded a decent increase taking registrations from 4,071 to 4,652, a change of 14.3%. Volvo and Renault were the only manufacturers to record a drop on 2011 figures, down 14% and 7.5% respectively.

Isuzu secured the largest percentage gain, increasing registrations from 720 units to 873 units – a 21.3% increase. Total registrations for vehicles over six tonnes increased by 3.1%, with the larger volume of rigid vehicles registered contributing to a 6.4% rise in CVs over 3.5-tonnes.

Below 3.5 tonnes, light commercial vehicles saw declines across the board where registrations fell 7.9% to 239,641, leading to a 5.9% decline in the market as a whole down from 303,097 in 2011 to 285,343 units.

Figures for the month of December showed a sharp decline of 15.8% across the sector compared to the same month in 2011. Truck registrations over 6 tonnes saw several manufacturers figures decline, with Daf recording a 50% drop, Mercedes-Benz a 29.6% decline and MAN a 36.3% fall.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: "While 2012 has been a challenging year for the UK commercial vehicle market with heavy trucks the only sector performing positively during the year. The commercial vehicle market ended 5.9% down on 2011 as business confidence wavered. Vans have struggled all year with just under 240,000 registered while truck volumes tailed-off towards the end of the year.

"We look forward to 2013 being a better year for the commercial vehicle market with a host of new products and innovative technologies boosting registrations," he added.