Registrations of new heavy goods vehicles slid back 2% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year.
The drop, which has left the overall market more than 17% below pre-pandemic levels, is being blamed on continuing supply chain issues and parts shortages.
Figures compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) revealed that 9,837 new HGVs were registered in the first three months of the year. This was down 221 on the first quarter of 2021 which itself was described as volatile and still significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the SMMT demand for new large commercial vehicles remains robust, particularly from the construction industry, but global shortages of semiconductors and raw materials such as steel and aluminium is affecting deliveries to fleet operators.
Registrations of rigid trucks were down some 10% but still took just over half the market with a total of 4975 vehicles, while the 4862 articulated trucks registered was a rise of more than 7% on 2021’s figures.
Among body types, tractors continue to take almost half the market, the 4,827 examples registered 371 up on the same period in 2021. But all other types, box vans, tippers, curtain-sided trucks and refuse-disposal vehicles all saw declines.
Announcing the figures, SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes praised the resilience of manufacturers in the face of “the myriad challenges facing the heavy goods vehicle sector”, adding that manufacturers are striving to fulfil order books as quickly as possible amid robust demand for the latest technology trucks.