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New van market declines in November

NFDA 05/12/2017

“New light vans registrations declined by -11.1% in November; year to date, the market is now -4.1% lower than in 2016. All segments experienced a negative trend during the month, however year to date ‘pickups’ and light vans between 2.0 - 2.5 tonnes remain at higher levels than last year”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, commenting on the latest SMMT’s light commercial vehicle registration figures.

The Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) market declined by -11.1% in November to 26,486 units. Year-to-date, the market is now -4.1% down on 2016.

Pickups declined by -14.4% in November following a few months of stabilisation, but the segment remains up on last year by 7.9%. November’s decline of these dual-purpose vans reflects the current lack of consumer confidence as they tend to be purchased not only by tradespeople but also as family vehicles. On a positive note, this remains the third largest segment in volume terms with 43,875 units registered year to date

Small vans up to 2 tonnes saw a consistent decline of -21.7%, while registrations of medium vans between 2 - 2.5 tonnes decreased by -8.9%. Both these types of vans are usually purchased by self-employed professionals, including tradespeople and service engineers. Year to date, they are now respectively -20.3% down and 3.0% up on 2016’s results.

Following last month’s decrease, heavy light commercials between 2.5 tonnes – 3.5 tonnes saw another decline of -9.4%. This can be seen as a cause of concern as heavy vans are purchased by fleets and corporate buyers and their sales usually reflect the general economic situation of the country.

Robinson continued, “While the decline in registrations of new light vans confirms that uncertainty continues to affect businesses and consumers, the new light commercial vehicle market remains at high levels.”

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The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.