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May marks record month for van registrations

NFDA 04/06/2021

“It is extremely positive to see that light commercial vehicle registrations continued their upward trend with record sales in May, as increased confidence in the sector continues post lockdown”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, commenting on the latest SMMT’s light van market registration figures.

In May 2021, light commercial registrations saw a huge +289% improvement compared to last year. This reflects almost a 5% increase on the pre-pandemic five-year average, demonstrating demand for LCV’s has continued to remain strong for the online delivery and e-commerce market. However, it is important to note we were in a national lockdown in April and May 2020 and LCV’s ordered in the first quarter prior to the pandemic had been registered and delivered in late March and April.

A total of 19,687units were registered in the 2.5-3.5t LCV range, representing two-thirds of all light commercials registered in the month, clearly indicating market confidence in operating maximum weight and capacity vans.

Sales of LCV’s in the 2-2.5t sector increased 294.7% up to 3,955 units, compared with just 1,002 vehicles in the same period last year. Many of these lighter vehicles are used as service vehicles which indicated growing domestic demand for services. Sales of pick-ups that are often bought as dual-purpose vehicles for both business and lifestyle, also increased 381%.

As in previous months, Ford dominated sales with both its Transit Custom and Heavy Transit models registering 37,555 units, while the Volkswagen Transporter took the third position with 9,909 units and not far behind was the Mercedes Sprinter registering 9,745 LCV’s so far this year.

Sue Robinson added: “The light commercial vehicle market has long been an indicator for the economy as a whole, as public and private investment in commercial transport highlights short to medium term confidence. The current level of demand for LCVs is a clear signal of this growing confidence as the economy continues to perform better than expected. Overall dealers are optimistic that notwithstanding any product shortages, registration figures will continue to increase to beyond pre-pandemic levels.”

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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.