DAF takes largest-ever share of UK truck market

DAF Trucks took its largest-ever share of the UK truck market in 2019, with an expected 30.5% of the market above 6.0 tonnes GVW – up from 27.2% in 2018 and out-performing the company’s previous high of 30.1% in 2016.

In all there were 14,814 DAF registrations in 2019 – the highest volume for any manufacturer since 1988, when DAF Trucks registered more than 15,000 trucks and when the total UK market above 6.0 tonnes was almost 68,000 units.

“Our all-time-high market share in 2019 marking 25 uninterrupted years of market leadership in the UK is testament to one thing,” said Laurence Drake, DAF Trucks’ managing director in the UK. “Our customers, and their continued support and the confidence they place in the DAF brand. And I promise this, we will continue to respond and adapt to customers’ needs to bring unrivalled products and services for the next 25 years.”

The overall 2019 UK market, which DAF Trucks expects to be close to 48,500, would be the third-highest in the past 10 years. Early forecasts from analysts, including at DAF Trucks, predicted that 2019 would deliver a far smaller market – 41,000 units – with the end-of-year figure far exceeding those expectations.

Catalysts for this higher demand were concerns over potential tariffs for imported chassis ahead of the UK’s originally scheduled Brexit date of 31 March, the introduction of SMART tachos causing a pull forward in June and further Brexit concerns before its rescheduled October deadline. DAF Trucks’ order book was further boosted by customers investing in Euro-6 compliant vehicles to comply with London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone and other planned Clean Air Zones throughout the UK.

However, Drake added that he expected the truck market to be smaller in 2020. “We expect to see a market reduced in size by the end of this year; perhaps down to between 40 and 41,000 units,” he said. “But, amid much political uncertainty, confidence in an accurate prediction is low.”

Most DAF vehicles for the UK market are built at Leyland Trucks in Lancashire. The facility produced some 19,500 vehicles in 2019, with more than 12,500 going to UK operators and just over 7,100 exported across the world to 51 countries.

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Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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