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Van sales decline reflects lack of product and subdued demand

NFDA 06/07/2020

“As van dealerships have now reopened throughout the UK, demand for new and cleaner light commercials is gradually increasing”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, commenting on the latest SMMT light commercial vehicle registration figures.

Sales of light commercials declined by -24.8% in June with 30,041 units. Year to date, the market is down by -44.6%.

Small vans under 2.0 tonnes which are often used as service vehicles, saw the largest decline, down -49.4%.

Medium-sized vans heavier than 2.0-2.5 tonnes declined by -19.1%, while vans weighing more than 2.5-3.5 tonnes experienced a decline of 22.8%.

Many of these mid-size light commercials are often sold to the wider market from self-employed to corporate fleets. As a result, it is encouraging that the decline was less significant than the other segments and we expect this sector to drive the recovery going forward.

Sue Robinson, added, “Demand for cheaper, used vans has already increased, this in turn will push buyers to revisit their fleet requirements and consider new commercials as used vans’ prices rise.

“Over the past months, fewer light commercial vehicles have been produced across Europe and with only essential business operations running, most private and business buyers have held back in these uncertain times.

“As countries start to reopen and manufacturers build new commercials, we hope demand will continue to grow, however it is unlikely it will return to normal levels until 2021”.


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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.