Industry Round Up - 18th March 2024

Welcome to Hireco’s latest series, our industry news round ups. We will focus on news from all around the industry including LCVs, HGVs, EVs and so much more.

Surge in HGV Registrations in 2023

According to recently released data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the UK witnessed a notable surge in registrations of new Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in 2023. The figures revealed a 13.5% increase in demand for HGVs, marking the second consecutive year of growth.

Despite the challenges posed by Covid, a total of 46,227 new trucks hit the roads last year, the highest annual figure since the onset of the pandemic. While this represents a positive trend, it's essential to note that it is still 4.8% less than the pre-pandemic total in 2019. The majority of the registered trucks were rigids, accounting for 52.9% of the market and showing a significant up tick of 14.7% from the previous year. Artic demand also saw a robust increase, rising by 12.2% to 21,788 vehicles.

Furthermore, registrations of electric and hydrogen vehicles experienced an impressive threefold increase in 2023, signalling a growing shift towards zero-emission transportation. However, with these vehicles comprising just 0.5% of the total HGV market, the SMMT emphasises the urgent need for a supportive infrastructure to facilitate the transition to zero-emission vehicles, especially with the looming deadline of 2035 for the end of sale of new non-zero emission trucks.

New LCV market enjoys the best February in 26 years

February saw continued growth in the UK's new light-commercial vehicle (LCV) market alongside a rise in levels of used stock.

The UK's new LCV market extended its growth streak for the 14th consecutive month in February, with registrations increasing by 2.2%. A total of 17,934 new vehicles hit the roads, marking the strongest performance for the month in 26 years since February 1998, when 18,044 units were registered. However, the sector experienced mixed fortunes across various segments.

Pickups led the charge with a notable 21.2% surge in registrations. In contrast, vans weighing between 2.5-3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW) experienced a more modest 1.4% increase but still accounted for over 68% of the new LCV market. Conversely, vans below two tonnes and those between 2-2.5 tonnes GVW witnessed declines of 20.5% and 5.9% respectively.

Deadline Looms for Second-Generation Smart Tachographs

Tachograph experts have issued a crucial advisory to UK fleets operating heavy vehicles internationally. As per European Union mobility laws, vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and passenger vehicles with 10 or more seats that operate internationally are required to retrofit second-generation smart tachographs by 31 December 2024.

These 'smart' tachographs incorporate enhanced functionality and security features. While vehicles operating solely within the UK do not require this retrofit, fleets with international operations are urged to book in their retrofits well in advance to avoid potential bottlenecks later this year.

With tacho centres expected to face heavy demand leading up to the deadline, early action is vital to ensure compliance and seamless operations.

Hyundai unveils EV LCV chassis

Hyundai Motor has introduced the ST1 (Service Type 1), a cutting-edge battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform tailored for light commercial vehicles. Designed with versatility in mind, the ST1 is ideal for a wide range of applications, including general-purpose and local delivery vehicles.

Featuring a streamlined cab chassis, the ST1 boasts a flexible design that can be customised to various sizes and layouts, catering to diverse needs. Whether for transporting general cargo or refrigerated goods, this platform offers adaptability and efficiency.

With the launch of the ST1, Hyundai aims to make significant strides in the electric commercial vehicle market, capitalising on the platform's innovative features and capabilities.

Stay tuned for more updates and insights from the world of transportation and logistics in our next weekly round-up!


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