“Despite February’s decline, it is encouraging to see that the light van market remains above pre-pandemic levels”, said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), commenting on the latest SMMT's light commercial vehicle registration figures.
Registrations of new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) fell -6.0% in February to 16,165 units. Last year, sales were significantly supported by pent-up demand. Year to date, the market is -18.2% down from 2021’s volumes but remains 14.6% above pre-pandemic levels.
The highlight of the month was the 36.9% growth in the medium-sized van segment weighing over 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes, showing significant strength in the service sector as domestic business picks up. A total of 4,024 medium vans were registered, over 1,000 more than last year.
Heavy vans weighing more than 2.5 - 3.5 tonnes declined by -9.9% to 10,638 units despite robust demand, as supply constraints continue to affect the market. Small vans under 2.0 tonnes decreased by -52.2% whilst pickups were down by -36.0%. Demand for 4x4s rose by 49.0% although these represent a small proportion of the overall market (76 units).
Sales of fully electric vans continued their upward trend with a huge 347.6% growth from 389 units in February 2021 to 1,741 last month, reaching a 10.8% market share of all LCV registrations in the month.
The February market continued to be dominated by Ford with a 32.1% market share of registrations, followed by Peugeot (16.0%) and Citroen (15.2%).
Sue Robinson added: “The significant growth in sales of electric vans is encouraging and, as more models come to the market, the sector is likely to experience further growth going forward.
“Although supply issues continue to affect registrations of commercials, in particular larger vans, dealers remain positive about the year ahead”.
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.