“It is positive to see that the overall commercial vehicle market continued to grow in July with registrations up 3.7% on July 2014, and 19.3% year-to-date”, 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.
July marked the seventh consecutive month of growth in the truck market with heavy trucks over 3.5t reporting a substantial growth of 39.7% - keeping in line with the 40.5% growth the truck market has seen so far this year. However van sales showed the first signs of decline with registrations down -0.9% in the month.
Robinson continued, “Despite the slight drop in van sales last month, heavy weight vans in the 2.5 – 3.5t sector -which are often used for home deliveries, saw a healthy growth of 16.2%, whilst sales of lighter commercials of up to 2t and 2 – 2.5t which are predominantly used by small businesses and those who are self-employed, declined by -18.6% and -34.4%. These lighter vans are also used by retail customers who purchase them as a dual-purpose or lifestyle vehicle – therefore suggesting the retail sector is moving into a slower phase.
“Demand for trucks continued its upward trend with a continued average growth of 40%. Sales of rigid trucks remained strong – indicating that dealers are coping well with the delays following the new type-approval regulations and IVA inspections.
“Sales of articulated tractor units in 2015 have seen a significant growth of 50.7% year-to-date, however whilst figures in July were up 31% in this sector, this still begins to indicate a slowing in demand from its main user – supermarkets.
“We anticipate that the truck sector will continue to grow throughout the remainder of 2015, and we hope to see van sales pick up over the summer 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.