“It is disappointing to see that the commercial vehicle market declined -4.2% this month following last month’s new 14-plate change”, 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 van and truck registration figures.
Van sales remained stable seeing a decline of -0.6%, although the year to date figure showed a more positive growth of 12.2%. In April the only sector to show any noticeable decline was the sub 2 tonne circa car-derived-vans.
Dealers suggested that much of the short-fall was blamed on manufacturer bonus incentive periods ending at the end of March, hence many of them pre-registered a limited number of small vans to maximise their bonus incentives.
Robinson continued, “Sales of heavy trucks saw a significant decline of -24.9%, however the rolling year remained up 22.3%. We had expected by now that the Euro 5 pre-registered trucks in December 2013 would have started to wash through by the second quarter of 2014, especially as the decline in March was only -16.5.
“The dip in April registrations mostly came from the heavy sector with 6t – 16t rigid chassis which were down -41.3% and 3 axled artics at -33%.
“The NFDA hope the confidence in the economy and the growth in both employed and self-employed tradesmen will return the van market to growth over the coming months”.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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.