“Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) dealers remain optimistic for the remainder of the year with positive demand from businesses and availability of stock improving,” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), commenting on the latest SMMT Light Commercial Vehicle registration figures.
In May, Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) dealers registered a total of 25,359 new vans and light commercials, an increase of 15.3%. This is the fifth consecutive month of registration growth. Year-to-date figures reveal 135,296 new LCVs are on the road this year, an increase of 14.7%. Although improved supply and good consumer demand, year-to-date result is still -13% below the pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The heavier sectors of both LCVs 2.0-2.5t and 2.5-3.5t GVW have improved by 39.3% and 8.6% respectively. Some of this demand has come from the lightest LCV sector under 2.0 tonnes, that has generally been shrinking for some time, as manufactures reduce model availability in favour of heavier vans.
The maximum weight light commercial sector (2.5-3.5t) dominates the market as a cost-effective vehicle to operate, so much so that in represents 67% of the market share this year.
Although a smaller market, pick-ups have outperformed last year with 14,963 new units registered, up from last year’s 12,587 registrations, an improvement of 18.9%.
May saw an increase in the number of battery electric commercials registered, up 19.7% to 1,041 units. Whilst the volume for EV vans has increased to 7,028 units this year, it still only represents 5.2% of the market, the same as this point last year.
Sue Robinson continued: “Government’s approach to mass adoption of EV LCVs needs to differ from the EV car sector as home-charging is a less viable option. Government must offer financial incentives to operators and the reassurance to drivers that a credible and reliable charging network will be delivered.
“With the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate starting in 2024, it will drive manufactures to increase their production of EV vans. Many dealers have expressed concerns that part of this will include EV sales target increases and price increases on diesel LCVs to offset the price reductions on EV commercials and increase market demand.
NOTES TO EDITORS -
Adam Weeks, NFDA Communications Officer
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