“April’s lockdown has brought an unsurprising -86.2% fall in registrations of light commercial vehicles,” said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised commercial vehicle and car retailers across the UK, commenting on the SMMT’s LCV registration figures.
3,387 LCVs were registered in April 2020, a steep decline from the 24,604 registered in April 2019, which can be attributed to the closure of dealership showrooms. Year-to-date figures also saw a decrease of -44.0%, from 127,347 in 2019 to 71,294 in 2020.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter succeeded the Ford Transit Custom to become the best seller in April with 814 units, owing to it being commonly used in the emergency services as an ambulance vehicle, and in online deliveries. Similarly, the Iveco Daily made it into the top ten as it is also widely used for supermarket online deliveries.
Robinson continued, “The closure of dealerships has significantly impacted the sales of vehicles that are commonly used by self-employed contractors or small businesses, but many service vehicles were still ordered in April to meet the need for the effort against coronavirus. This has buoyed the figures from crashing completely.
“NFDA has been closely monitoring and liaising with Government to ensure the LCV market will be able to maintain its strength for the rest of the closure period, and with manufacturers and businesses to ensure that when dealerships reopen, the sector will be able to recover effectively.”
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.