HGVs on the increase

Registrations of new heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) rose 5.3% to 46,231 units in 2016, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The result marks the sector’s third consecutive year of growth, ending on a positive note with 13,555 new HGVs registered in Q4 – a 2.3% improvement on the same period in 2015.

Rigid vehicles continued to fuel the market throughout 2016, with both the >6-16T and >16T segments experiencing double-digit growth – up 21.6% and 14.5% respectively. The artics segment, meanwhile, ended the year down by -7.5%, but in the fourth quarter bucked the downward trend set earlier in the year, rising by 0.7% as an uplift in demand for 3+ axle artics compensated for a decline in 2 axle vehicles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘Another year of growth for the HGV market in 2016 is a positive sign for the sector, particularly as it follows such an exceptionally strong 2015. HGVs are essential for transporting vital goods around the country and their demand provides a barometer for the UK economy, so these results are certainly welcome. Looking ahead, we must ensure business uncertainty is minimised so that this success continues.’