Registrations of new heavy goods vehicles rose by 5.3% to 46,231 units in 2016, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders.
The year also ended on a positive note, with 13,555 new HGVs registered in Q4 – a 2.3% improvement on the same period of 2015. Overall, it was the sector’s third consecutive year of growth.
Rigid vehicles continued to fuel the market throughout 2016, with both the >6-16T and >16T segments experiencing double-digit growth – up 21.6% (9,870 registrations) and 14.5% (17,012 registrations) respectively. Overall, demand for rigid trucks was 17% up at 26,882 units.
The artics segment, meanwhile, ended the year down by 7.5% with 19,346 units registered, but in the fourth quarter bucked the downward trend set earlier in the year, rising by 0.7% as an uplift in demand for three+ axle artics compensated for a decline in two-axle vehicles. For the full year, two-axle artics were 2.1% down at 2,364 units, while three+ artics were 8.2% down at 16,982 units.
“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,” Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s Chief Executive, said. “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.”