HGV sales stumble through third quarter

New heavy goods vehicle (HGV) registrations declined by 8.4% in the third quarter of 2021, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The decrease saw 7,715 trucks registered, some 704 fewer than the third quarter 2020 total, which itself was volatile due to the effects of the pandemic.

Despite the decline in the third quarter, performance for the year to date was still 25.3% higher than the pandemic-impacted 2020, with 27,272 vehicles registered in 2021. However, this still falls short of the 2019 total by 24.3%, or 8,749 trucks.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “With operators still struggling with acute driver shortages, and global shortages of semi-conductors restricting production, it is disappointing, yet unsurprising, to see the number of registrations fall in the third quarter.

“The sector is also facing significant long-term challenges, with government confirming its ambition to end the sale of all non-zero emission HGVs by 2040. Manufacturers are investing billions into the latest, green technologies, but there is no single technological solution that can meet every HGV use case. Indeed, there may be some specific and limited instances in which electrified technologies are not yet feasible, so flexibility for the future is important. Above all else, however, the industry needs dedicated HGV infrastructure, a plan for which we still await.”