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Van sales show strong pent up demand

NFDA 05/08/2020

For the first time in many months, there was an increase in registrations of light commercial vehicles, up to 3.5 tonnes. Sales of light commercials rose by 7.1% in July with 27,701 units, according to the latest SMMT figures. Much of this is considered to be pent up demand for vehicles that would have been acquired earlier this year. Year to date, the market is down by -39.0%.

In addition, current stocks of panel vans are reasonably high, which is allowing for prompt deliveries to customers. If demand holds up going forward, a situation could arise where availability is restricted due to factories across Europe not being fully operational.

The better sellers in July were the medium-sized vans 2.0-2.5t vans, which were up by 12.0%, and the large 2.5 – 3.5t vans, which experienced an increase of 5.4%. Light commercials that are generally acquired by commercial/fleet buyers are used in the online delivery territory.

Smaller ‘car derived vans’ under 2 tonnes lost ground as they were down -22.0%. This is owed to these small vehicles often being run as service vans and they are also bought heavily by the self-employed.

Light commercial dealers are sounding optimistic going into the rest of this year.

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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.