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WLTP and economic uncertainty depress LCV market in September

NFDA 04/10/2019

"Registrations of light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes fell by -23.5% in September, as a result of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) for vans and continued economic uncertainty”, 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.

Following 8 consecutive months of growth, 41,216 LCV’s were put on UK roads in September, compared with 53,848 vehicles in the same period last year.

September saw the introduction of WLTP engine emissions regulations applied to vans and light trucks so there was a shortage of product availability. There were also more WLTP non-compliant vehicles being pre-registered in August in order to beat the deadline, and now these vehicles are entering the market as delivery mileage used vans.

Sales of small and medium sized vans improved by 12.3% and 16.8% respectfully, however these sectors tend to have low volumes compared with the maximum size light commercials 2.5 – 3.5t that represent over 60% of the whole CV market. This sector of commercials was down -35.2% compared to the previous September.

Robinson added, “We are expecting the market to rebalance in the final quarter of 2019 as the WLTP changes work through the system. 

“Positively, the market is still up 4.5% year-to-date, however whilst dealers are saying there is still pent-up demand in the market, many buyers are holding off making purchasing decisions until the current political and economic uncertainty dissipates.”

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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.