Economic indicators are showing a quick turnaround in business recovery as restrictions ease from the Coronavirus epidemic. With graph arrows rising from various platforms such as Eurozone Economic Sentiment Index and percentage increases with the EU’s GDP, which indicate positive vibes in industry and commerce. Record usage of the German Maut toll system demonstrate more truck transport movements that provide further economic buoyancy. But there are downsides such as the rising cost of fuel, the ongoing component shortage affecting any further prosperity.
Truck sales have been seriously affected by the global component shortage resulting from Covid-19 and other global happenings such as extensive fires and flooding in main supply regions. If customer orders could be met before the year end, the overall new HGV market would be around 280,000 units, according to Harry Wolters, DAF Trucks NV President. “Sales of medium duty vehicles would reach 50,000 units,” he said, during a trade press briefing at DAF Trucks HQ in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
“That’s significantly above last year’s figures by 100,000 HGVs, replicating the 2015 marketplace across Europe.” He revealed market share updates for both HGV and tractor unit sales. From end of June, year-to-date, it’s a close call between both brands for the leading positions with Mercedes-Benz, heading the charts on 19%. Then, it’s a three horse race between Scania, DAF Trucks & MAN with 17%, 16.8% & 16% market share across Europe respectively . Volvo is next closest with 15% and Renault Trucks & Iveco following up with 8% & 7%. In looking at the above 16tonne tractor-unit segment, it’s a different story with DAF in command on 20.2%. Volvo is next on 18.2%, Scania 17.5%, Mercedes-Benz 16%, MAN 13% with Renault Trucks & Iveco on 7% on average YTD Q2 2021.
Despite not being in a position to supply the New Generation DAF line-up into the marketplace, the Dutch brand gained most significantly in recent years augurs well for the investment in the new range and associated construction of new factories in Belgium (Westerlo). Harry claimed the new XF, XG & XG+ are ‘the right trucks for the right moment’. “With the new cab design, they meet the new masses and dimensions regulations, have established a new standard in safety, offer 10% gain in fuel efficiency and is the benchmark in driver comfort.” Harry is confident that with all these attributes, the pan-European driver shortage currently at 400.000, could be addressed in some way.
At the time of the event, 11,600 New Gen DAFs have been ordered, with an interesting breakdown on the demand for the model line – XF 43%, XG 41% & XG+ 16%. To date, there are ten different axle configuration available with more to follow.
Main elements of the New Generation DAFs:
- Service intervals up to 200,000km
- Over the air vehicle updates
- Pan-EU repair and maintenance contracts
- Class leading aerodynamics and airflow
- Automated transmission only with enhanced predictive features
- More torque at lower revs from the new MX-13 530hp engines plus more powerful engine brake
- New XF versus current XF = -175kg lighter
- Best in class visibility – curved windscreen, low belt line, digital mirrors
- Full LED lights (auto)
- Superior passive safety: Controlled steering column deformation system
- Programmed Cab Displacement System (ProCaDis) – Patented design
- 12” DAF Digital Display
- 5cm engine tunnel on XG & XG+
- Higher comfort
- Superb steering behaviour
- Excellent ride and handling
- Ultra-low interior noise
- Excellent crash worthiness
- Future Drivetrains: HVO/Renewables; BEV; Hybrid (Full & Mild); Hydrogen – Fuel Cell & Internal Combustion H2