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Slight decline in LCV market during February

NFDA 05/03/2020

“It is disappointing to see light commercial vehicle registrations down for the first time since November 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 LCV registration figures.

14,103 LCVs were registered in February, with 14,384 registered in the same period last year, indicating a decline of -2.0%. Year-to-date figures, however, showed an increase of 2.8%, from 36,620 in 2019 to 37,660 in 2020.

Decreases were seen most prominently in vans under 2.0 tonnes, dropping 11.1% to 922 units, and pickups falling from 1,505 in February 2019 to 1,353 in February 2020. Vans weighting 2.5-3.5 tonnes saw a smaller decline of 2.8%.

In contrast, 2.0-2.5 tonne vans saw a strong 9.3% rise in demand, from 2,469 sales to 2,698 this year. 4x4s also had a good February, almost doubling from 25 to 48 vehicles registered.

The Ford Transit Custom yet again maintained itself as the most registered LCV of the month totalling 1,930 units sold, adding up to 5,047 in the year to date. Ford Transit continued as the second highest seller at 1,897 units, maintaining good demand from Ford, with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter beating the Vauxhall Vivaro into third, selling 1,092 vehicles.

Robinson continued, “As February is a typically quiet month for the sector, the results are not surprising, but do indicate a slight dip in confidence ahead of the March 11 budget.

“With the March plate change happening currently, we can expect an upturn in these figures going into the final month of Q1 2020.”

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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.