DAF Trucks Managing Director, Laurence Drake
DAF Trucks has taken 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. The record-breaking share results from 14,814 DAF registrations in 2019 – the highest volume for any manufacturer since 1988 (when DAF Trucks registered over 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’ new Managing Director in the UK, “our customers, and their continued support and the confidence they place in the DAF brand. And I promise this,” he said, “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 over the previous ten 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 March ’19, 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.
“The best products and services,” added Drake, “are developed through close cooperation with end-users. We rely on those relationships; with customers who tell us what we do right, and perhaps more importantly, what we do wrong. This dialogue enables us to develop and deliver products and services that meet the market’s ever-changing requirements.
”And, of course, truck manufacturers are only as successful as their dealer networks, and in the DAF Dealer network we have the very best in the business. 134 locations supported with an industry-leading portfolio of aftersales services, including our benchmark DAFaid roadside assistance programme.
“Looking towards the potential market 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. But,” he added, “amid much political uncertainty, confidence in an accurate prediction is low."
Built in Britain
The vast majority of DAF vehicles for the UK market are built at Leyland Trucks in Lancashire. The state-of-the-art production facility produced over 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.
Click the video below to see the DAF 2019 Rewind.