“It was disappointing to see light commercial registrations decline in January as the semiconductor shortage and rising inflation impacted sales, however, the market is expected to grow throughout 2022 with continued demand for home deliveries and the ongoing economic recovery”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), commenting on the latest SMMT's light commercial vehicle registration figures.
The latest light commercial registration figures showed a decline of -26.9% in January with only 17,566 units going on the road compared to 24,029 sales in the same month last year.
The overall forecast for light commercials is a 2% yearly growth, taking the market to around 362,620 registrations, in line with 2019’s levels.
In January, most of the volume light commercial sectors suffered declines. Small models under 2.0t were down -53.9% and the large, heavy 2.5 -3.5t vans that dominate the market, declined -29.8%, a reduction of 4,912 registrations from January 2021.
Positively, sales of fully electric vans grew by 21.4% with 647 new units going on the road, equating to a market share of 3.7%. This was likely driven by the higher number of EV van variants on offer to the market. Despite this, diesel vans continue to account for the largest market share by far (94.3%), with petrol and/or hybrid representing a marginal 2%.
As usual, the January market was dominated by Ford registrations with a 35.53% share, followed by Vauxhall with a share of 12.59% and Volkswagen with a 10.3% market share.
Interestingly, there was an increase in registrations of Maxus vehicles, which are manufactured by the SAIC Group from China. Maxus has recently introduced the ‘Deliver-9’ van that looks very similar to the large Transit and sells at a value price. The brand produces also a range of electric vans and, as a result, could become a bigger player going forward.
Sue Robinson concluded: “Overall, dealers’ feedback is positive, with supply and deliveries playing a crucial role in the market as there are no reports of shortage of customers wanting to buy new or used light commercials”.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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.