Serious concern over PCV registration decline

Weak business confidence, confusion over clean air zones, modal shift and tight budgets blamed

UK’s new bus and coach market fell 26.4% in the third quarter of the year, with 1,340 vehicles registered, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The performance marked the eleventh consecutive quarterly decline for the sector. The SMMT cites a combination of weak business confidence, confusion over clean air zones, modal shift and tight budgets within local authorities affecting order books.

In the third quarter, demand across all body styles declined by double digits, with single-deckers experiencing the most significant fall in registrations, down 38.1% to 280 units. Meanwhile, the market for new minibuses fell 24.7%, as did demand for double-decks, down 12.2% in the quarter.

Performance over the year-to-date is down too, with registrations dropping 29.4% to fewer than 4,000 units. Registrations of minibuses and double-decks have fallen significantly, reducing by 42.8% and 16.8% respectively. At the same time, single-deckers recorded a 10.1% decrease with 1,459 registered in the first nine months.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “An eleventh consecutive quarterly decline for the UK bus and coach market is a serious concern. To stem further losses and get more of the latest, low emission vehicles on our roads, we need the right conditions, including appropriate funding for local authorities, to ensure operators continue to invest in their fleets. This will not only help improve air quality in urban areas but also provide cleaner transport solutions to many consumers.”

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