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UK new van market shows moderate growth in AugustBack

It is positive to see that the new light commercial market grew moderately in August by 1.5% in what is a low volume month in terms of registrations as customers wait for the new registration plate in September.

Following the increase in July, the new van market also grew in August by 1.5% to 15,619 units. Year to date, the market is now -2.8% down on last year, according to the latest SMMT’s light commercial vehicle registration figures.

Pickups performed well in August with a growth of 8.0% compared with the same period last year. Pickups are becoming more and more important and they now represent the third largest segment in terms of volume of registrations behind the mid-size (2.0-2.5 tonnes) and big vans (2.5-3.5 tonnes) segments that lead the light commercials sector.

Mid-size vans 2.0-2.5 tonnes have also continued to grow throughout 2017. In August, the segment was up +39.9% and year to date +11.4%. These mid-size vans are often used by the service sector within the UK.

Large vans between 2.5-3.5 tonnes generally show the largest increases thanks to the continued growth of internet sales which that require home deliveries. However, while the other indicators show public’s demand for online purchases is still growing, sales of larger vans have slowed, being down -0.6% in August and -4% in 2017. This might be due to corporate and fleet buyers temporarily holding back on placing new van orders until consumer confidence recovers as the implications of Brexit become clearer.

The light commercial market is showing encouraging signs of stability, especially considering the challenges being faced by the industry, and it seems set to continue to perform at these levels.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 08/09/2017