View Full 2023 Year Truck Sales Figures Here

Last year was the first almost ‘normal’ year for the new truck industry since pre-covid in 2019. There remain component supply issues for manufacturers and lead times are longer than operators would like, but UK sales volumes were up almost across the board for all truck manufacturers. The one exception to this is MAN – their business relied on wiring looms from the Ukraine and was therefore impacted more than most by the Russian invasion and ongoing war. Despite this, the market was up overall by almost 10% to 40,716 units.

Does this mean that we are back to business as usual? How do 2022 truck registrations compare to pre-covid levels? The answer is not straightforward, as volumes are down for the year as a whole – down just over 16% but, the second half of 2022 outperformed the second half of 2019, so the trend is definitely in the right direction, (HY2 2022: 21,346 units; HY2 2019: 21,071 units).

Where is the Growth Coming From?

Practically all of the growth in the UK truck market last year came from the tractor unit segment. As the build times for tractor units are shorter, this segment of the truck market tends to react better to market trends then rigid trucks that can be in build for some months. This means sales of tractor units are first to increase in good times, but also first to decrease in slow times. Articulated truck sales were up almost 22%, whilst rigid trucks only grew 0.3% compared to 2021.

Looking at data from the last quarter, we see that rigid truck registrations were finally increasing with Tippers up 13% and curtainsiders up by 46%. This is a positive sign that the market in 2023 will be stronger than 2022. This Q4 growth for rigids was all in the over 16 tonnes segment – sales of lighter rigids actually fell in the last quarter of 2022.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented on the figures, “Another year of growth in HGV registrations marked by a strong second half performance shows that operators have an increasing appetite to invest, with deliveries enabled by the easing of supply and logistics disruptions. As manufacturers deliver more zero emission vehicles to market, there must be policy certainty and infrastructure assurance to inspire further fleet renewal. This will be essential to the UK’s ability to deliver its decarbonisation agenda, while keeping the British economy and society on the move.”

What’s the UK’s Best-Selling Truck?

It may come as little surprise that the UK’s best-selling truck brand was DAF Trucks again. The company assembles all of their trucks for the UK market right here in the UK (Leyland, Lancashire in fact). This gives DAF a home advantage in terms of patriotic loyalty (even though it is a US owned Dutch company) as well as an advantage in the post-Brexit environment.

New Generation DAF XF and XG

Market-leaders DAF managed to increase their market share from 31% to 32% in 2022 with an impressive 13.2% growth figure. Volvo was the only major manufacturer to best DAF in terms of growth in UK truck registrations which were over 18% higher than 2021 putting the Swedish manufacturer ahead of Scania in market share terms. Remember that one-time favourite, Mercedes once enjoyed second place in the UK market back in 2018, but slipped back to fourth in 2020 and has remained there since. Despite growing faster than the market, Mercedes have made little inroads into the Volvo and Scania’s share.

PositionMarqueFY 2022FY 202122 Share% Change
1 (1)DAF TRUCKS130681154732.10%13.20%
2 (3)VOLVO5906500014.51%18.10%
3 (2)SCANIA5655526613.89%7.40%
4 (4)MERCEDES4788423711.76%13.00%
5 (6)IVECO338732308.32%4.90%
6 (5)MAN332434808.16%-4.50%
7 (7)RENAULT TRUCKS259821956.38%18.40%
8 (9)ISUZU9708622.38%12.50%
9 (8)DENNIS EAGLE8159492.00%-14.10%
10 (10)FUSO2053960.50%-48.20%
UK New Truck Sales Market Full Year 2022 vs. 2021

Whilst the figures are not broken down by model, the size of the market and DAF’s dominance across Europe in the tractor unit segment means that it is highly likely that the DAF XF is the UK’s best-Selling truck model.  It is still available as the old generation and the ‘new generation’ alongside the XG and XG+.

“It is estimated that European truck industry registrations in the 16+ tonne market in 2023 will be in the range of 270,000 – 310,000 trucks”, stated Harald Seidel, president of DAF Trucks. “With our full array of New Generation DAF XD, XF, XG and XG⁺ trucks and a complete series of Electric trucks, DAF is in an excellent position for yet another excellent year. Thanks to our industry-leading trucks and first-class services and together with our wonderful employees and professional dealers, we are ready for the next step in success.”

SMMT Stats 2022