Despite the ongoing uncertainties and concerns over the looming Brexit deadline, business is continuing to boom for vehicle converters and commercial body builders. Specialist conversions for vans and chassis cabs are currently in high demand, keeping the market strong for the foreseeable future.
While many industries across the UK try to forecast the kinds of changes they may need to expect in the coming months, those dealing with commercial vehicles have a couple of additional obstacles like Euro 6 emission limits and the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). These can pose as significant challenges when it comes to body building as conversions can affect the overall results of a vehicle going through these tests.
Since September 2018, WLTP has applied to all type approvals and newly registered vehicles, following on from Euro 6 certifications introduced the previous year. Under these procedures, real-world tests are carried out to determine the levels of fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 and other pollutants. These tests are based on real driving data in order to accurately reflect a vehicles typical performance on the road.
As conversions can potentially impact a vehicle’s WLTP result, one major concern for the industry has been that vehicle conversions could become less popular. On the contrary, the industry is seeing more demand for specialist bodies like tippers, as well as waste and recycling collections, thanks to growth amongst fleet operators in various industries.
The continuing success of the conversion market is raising interest among manufacturers like Iveco and Volkswagen. This means that they’re expanding their potential for conversions and bringing greater opportunities to body builders like Brit Tipp.
That said, there is still a level of uncertainty surrounding other aspects of business. Changes in trade tariffs and imported goods could affect the cost of materials like steel and aluminium, potentially resulting in converters putting some prices up. However, it’s unlikely that this will have a detrimental impact to the industry as operators look ahead to growing their domestic fleets.