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New truck registrations expected to be up by 11%

12th December 2013
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Page 6, 12th December 2013 — New truck registrations expected to be up by 11%
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By David Wilcox

NEW TRUCK registrations raced past 2012's year-end total last month, on track to finish about 11% up for the year as a whole. The acceleration in the second half of this year has pulled back the deficit after a sluggish first half, and fulfilled market growth forecasts made a year ago.

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows November's new truck registrations were 39.7% up on the same month in 2012, the biggest monthly increase of the year. It took the total (trucks with gross weights of 6 tonnes or more) to 38,715. This is 9.4% ahead of last year and already past 2012's full-year total of 38,576.

The van market is also staging a comeback, with the number of vans up to and including 3.5-tonne GVVV increasing by 11.7% in the first 11 months.

"With engine technology developments driving up the truck market, plus van owners and operators responding positively to this year's economic recovery, the [CV] sector is on course for its best performance in five years," said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

The revival in the fortunes of rigid chassis, which started the year particularly slowly, took hold in November and it now looks as though the rigid market will finish slightly up on last year. But it is the tractor unit market that is driving growth, up by 20% in the first 11 months.

Unrecorded by these figures are thousands of new trucks held in storage, awaiting registration next year under Euro-6 derogation rules. The ranking of the top three

marques in the 6-tonne-plus market, Daf, Mercedes-Benz and Scania respectively, is unchanged this year, but the gaps between them have narrowed. Daf's year-to-date registrations have edged up just 0.8%, suppressed by the sluggish rigid sector.

Second-placed Mercedes has seen its registrations rise by 18.6% this year. While Scania, in third place, has recorded growth of 29.1%. An increase of 21.7% has seen Volvo overtake MAN to clinch fourth place.

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