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2017 commercial vehicle market off to racing start

NFDA 06/02/2017

"It is positive to see that light commercial vehicle registrations continued to grow last month with a 1.2% uplift in sales compared to the same period last year ”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association which represents commercial vehicle and franchised car retailers across the UK, commenting on the SMMT’s commercial vehicle registration figures.

Heavy weight vans and trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 2.5-3.5 tonne represented around 60% of all light commercials registered in January with an increase of 5.6% over the previous January. This shows that there is still high demand for door to door deliveries, as many of this weight of commercial are used to deliver online goods.

The mid-size van sector 2.0-2.5 tonne also showed a modest increase of 3.1% - although in volume terms, this is a small market. Over the past few years there has been a steady reluctance to buy the small vans under 2.0 tonnes GVW. These are often based on car/estate chassis where the sector was down -16.2% as buyers are opting for the larger vans.

Over the last few months we have continued to see strengthening in the pick-up market and January was no exception with growth of 28.9%, recording 3,439 new units being put on the road. This could demonstrate a new confidence in the construction and house building industries with the emphasis on increasing first time buyer homes.

Ford took the market by storm in January with 7,709 registrations - equal to a 36% market share. This does demonstrate the vast range of commercials Ford offers in all CV sectors and the competitive pricing and marketing of their products.

Robinson concluded, “Concerns about Brexit seem to be on the back-burner while companies, tradesmen and the self-employed get on and do business with the assistance of their new light commercials”.

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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.