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LCV market halves in March as COVID-19 takes its toll

NFDA 06/04/2020

“Light commercial vehicle registrations have suffered from the coronavirus pandemic, down by -54.3% as dealerships and customers are forced to cease trading,” 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.

30,247 LCVs were registered in March, with 66,123 registered in the same period last year, showing a steep decline of -54.3% in what is a key plate-change month. Year-to-date figures also saw a big fall of -33.9%, from 102,743 in 2019 to 67,907 in 2020.

Almost all light commercial sectors saw significant declines, with vans up to 2.0 tonnes seeing a sharp -64% drop to just 1,575 units, and vans weighing 2.0-2.5t falling -40.4%. The 4x4 sector was the only one to see a rise, increasing from 206 in March 2019 to 244 in March 2020.

The Ford Transit Custom continued to maintained itself as the most registered LCV of the month despite the decline, totalling 4,345 units sold, adding up to 9,392 in the year to date.

Robinson continued, “The closure of both factories and dealerships has caused major uncertainty, and until we know more it will be impossible to plan for a return to normality for a number of months.

“As light commercial vehicles currently on the road are at maximum workload delivering supplies and being operated by emergency services, it is imperative that supply of parts for repairs are maintained whilst the sales sector is closed for business.”

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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.