It’s hard to feel good about reporting sales down by almost 30% for the year, but DAF manage to put a positive spin on their year end results.
The runaway UK market leader sold 28.9% fewer trucks in 2020 than in 2019 – which was a record year for the company. The backdrop to this is an overall shrinking of the UK new truck market by 32.2%, meaning that DAF came out on top in the battle for market share.
Service & Parts – The Key to Success
It was the Service & Parts support from its dealer network that DAF believe resulted in its record 32% market share above 6.0-tonnes GVW in 2020. These astonishing figures means that the US-owned business registered more than twice as many trucks against its nearest competitor. SMMT figures also show DAF Trucks having achieved a record 31.6% share of the Heavy truck market above 16-tonnes GVW.
The Numbers in Detail
10,545 DAF registrations last year – in a total market of 32,918 – is down on 2019’s record breaking 14,814 vehicle registrations for the market leader, with the total market falling by around 15,500 primarily as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The figures mean DAF Trucks continues its impressive dominance of the UK truck market for an uninterrupted 26th year, with the built in Britain brand now accounting for almost one-in-three truck registrations over the past 24-months.
There was also notable success in the Republic of Ireland where DAF achieved 19.8% share above 6.0 tonnes, up from 18.3% in 2019, taking DAF to third place in the market. DAF achieved a 21.3% share of the market 16.0-tonnes GVW and above, and 12% in the 6-to-16.0-tonnes GVW segment.
Set against the backdrop of last year’s public health emergency, DAF Trucks cites its response to operators’ demands via the DAF Dealer network and its aftersales portfolio as instrumental to its ongoing market-leading performance. “Our commitment to customers, our sense of duty during the pandemic, and our willingness to adapt have ensured we remain the UK’s truck manufacturer of choice for so many operators,” said DAF Trucks Managing Director, Laurence Drake, “The latest registration figures are pleasing, naturally, but they tell only half the story of the way in which the DAF family rallied together to ensure our 135 DAF Dealers remained fully operational during 2020.”
Performance by DAFaid, the industry benchmark roadside recovery service from DAF Trucks, was arguably the company’s most impressive achievement in 2020. DAFaid handled 82,500 calls, attended almost 66,000 roadside issues, fixing 80% of these within 90-minutes of the initial call. It is notable that even during the first lockdown no jobs were refused. Meanwhile, the DAF Dealer network carried out 26,000 MOTs for customers, achieving a first-time-pass-rate just short of 98%.
Refinancing in Pandemic
PACCAR Financial, DAF Trucks in-house vehicle finance division, also went the extra mile in 2020 in support of operators suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the financial strength of the organisation, PACCAR Financial was able to restructure over 5,000 contracts to ensure operators retained their assets and fulfil their own commitments to customers. PACCAR Financial also arranged funding on over 30% of all new DAF vehicle sales in 2020.
R&M – Business as Usual
DAF Trucks supports a portfolio of 18,850 repair and maintenance contracts with over 4,500 new DAF MultiSupport contracts arranged in 2020. Customers were supported through the financial impact of the pandemic with revised or suspended payment terms for over 2,800 vehicles.
The PACCAR Parts operation, comprising DAF Genuine and TRP all-makes truck and trailer brands, also performed exceptionally well, delivering results approaching 2019 levels, with the DAF Dealer network maintaining its market-leading first-time-pick-rate of almost 94%.
DAF Trucks’ substantial training output received particular focus in 2020 and, despite the pandemic, all DAF Technician training switched to virtual classroom training to ensure the DAF Dealer network maintains its benchmark levels of skill and competence. DAF Trucks is on track to recruit a further 84 apprentice technicians for the renowned DAF Apprentice Programme based at the DAF Apprentice College in Bristol.