“It is extremely positive to see a double-digit increase in sales of new light vans, which marks six months of consecutive growth in 2019”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association which represents franchised commercial vehicle and car retailers across the UK, commenting on the SMMT’s light commercial vehicle registration figures.
Registrations of light commercial vehicles grew by 13.5% in June to 39,929 units registered. Year to date, the market is up 8.7% from last year.
The growth was driven by small vans under 2 tonnes and large vans between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes. These two segments of the market grew by 10.3% and 22.2% respectively. Following last month’s increase, vans between 2.0 and 2.5 tonnes saw a decline of -3.6% as a lot of these buyers are moving to larger vans.
Pickups experienced a marginal decline of -0.7%. however, this segment of the market remains up year to date by 3.5%. Despite being a small segment of the light commercial vehicles market, the -21.8% decrease in sales of 4x4s reflects current consumer uncertainty. In fact, differently from the majority of the other vans, many of these 4x4s are bought for leisure purposes.
Ford continued to be the market leader with a 35.5% market share in June and 33.5 this year. the manufacturer was followed by Volkswagen and Mercedes with market shares of 11.0% and 10.6% respectively.
Robinson added, “Sales of light commercials remain at high levels supported by a number of factors including UK’s robust online shopping sector, where these vehicles are used for delivery purposes.
“With declining new car sales, the UK van market depicts an interesting picture of the UK economic situation. While several businesses and self-employed people are renewing their old vans, many private buyers are delaying their car purchases because of the current uncertainty.
“It is encouraging to see large numbers of van operators switching to new, Euro 6 vans. Going forward, we anticipate the market to continue to perform well".
About the RMI
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.