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Van market grows despite supply challenges

NFDA 05/07/2021

“Registrations of light commercials up to 3.5 tonnes increased by 14.4% in June compared to the same time last year despite ongoing supply constraints, however, the market remains below 2019’s levels”,  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.

June saw 34,434 light commercial registrations, an increment of more than 4,000 units compared to last year when 30,041 vehicles went on the road. Overall, the market performance is positive with a +1.8% increase compared with the 2015-2019’s average.

Although sales of light commercials grew in June, supply issues continue to affect the market. This is, in turn, inflating the price of used vans, making it difficult for dealers to evaluate prices to offer for part exchange against a new LCV.

Fleets had a major positive effect on the market as maximum capacity vans above 2.5–3.5 tonnes dominated with a 71% market share. Demand for these vehicles has been growing over the past few years thanks to a rise in online deliveries and they usually represent around 60% of all light commercials sold. 

Year to date, all sectors of the light commercial market have experienced growth. However, in June, light ‘car derived vans’ under 2.0 tonnes saw a decline of -18.7% and mid-size vans between 2.0-2.5 tonnes were also down -4.3%; these vehicles are often used in the service industries.

The leading products for June were aligned with year-to-date trend with the Ford Transit Custom in first position, followed by Ford’s Large Transit commercial and Volkswagen’s Transporter.

Sue Robinson added: “There is a general belief the market could have performed even better, had it not been for the worldwide shortage of semiconductors which is slowing supplies.

“Dealers are confident that the market will remain at high levels, but there are concerns with supply issues and subsequent delays in delivering new vans to customers”. 

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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.