Dramatic December end to DAF’s 2013 truck sales 10 January 2014

Ray Ashworth, managing director of DAF Trucks, has added a revealing subscript to the SMMT's (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) upbeat 2013 year-end figures, stating that the dealer network sold five times as many trucks last month (December 2013) as it did in December 2012.

"The 2013 truck market certainly ended with a bang, outstripping even the most optimistic forecasts, with a massive surge in year-end registrations," states Ashworth.

"[The industry] saw over 10,700 trucks above 6 tonnes registered in December, which took the full year volume in this weight range to 49,430. This is the highest annual registration volume in the UK since 2006," he says.

But it's the detail of market-leading DAF's own performance that makes the point. DAF's sales of truck over 6 tonnes last year weighed in at 14,046 – almost 26% higher than its 2012 figure.

"We sold 3,500 trucks in December, compared with less than 700 the year before. And 700 of those were sold and registered in the last week before Christmas, ready for bodying over the next few weeks," he adds.

For Ashworth, the biggest single contributor to late heavy truck sales was the derogation rules, which meant that any Euro 5 vehicles built in the last quarter of 2013 had to be registered before the 31 December.

"The push to secure Reduced Pollution Certificates for Euro 6 compliant vehicles before the scheme closed to new vehicles, and a renewed confidence in the UK economy, pushed December's registrations to more than three times the level we saw in December 2012," he says.

"The high volumes also suggest that many vehicles that could have been derogated to enter service during 2014 have actually gone on the road already," he adds.

His point is certainly borne out by the strength of the market in the heavy sector at 16 tonnes and above, which turned out to be more than 30% bigger than in 2012 and the highest since 1989 – driven by tractors, with over 22,000 registered in 2013.

"That's more than ever before," comments Ashworth.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
DAF Trucks Ltd

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