Continuing the recent trend, van registrations increased 11.5% in March, contributing to an overall commercial vehicles registrations sales rise of 8.1%.

Commenting on the SMMT’s van and truck registration figures, Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association which represents commercial vehicle and franchised car retailers across the UK said:

“The Commercial Vehicle market as a whole continues to perform strongly, which is positive news for Commercial Vehicle dealers. However, it is disappointing to see a decline in truck sales of 15.1%”.

“The strongest improvement this March came from the pick-up sector, a vehicle often favoured by the self employed and building industries, with an increase of 29.2%. The Light Commercial Vehicle market was up 23% for the month, highlighting the confidence of users to replace vehicles that many have been retaining for too long and running up repair costs.”

Robinson continued: “The truck sector decline may be disappointing, but it is encouraging to see an increase in tractor sales for the first time in a long time. This can be attributed to operators buying up the remaining Euro 5 stock on dealer forecourts before the introduction of more expensive Euro 6 units.”

“The Commercial Vehicle show at the NEC starting 9 April will inform truck operator’s price levels of new models and new Euro 6 variants. Once buyers have finalised their purchasing decisions, this should stimulate heavy truck sales in the next few months.”

ENDS NOTES TO EDITORS: Keely Scanlan, Press Officer Tel: 020 7307 3410 Mob: 07825097697 Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422 Press Office fax: 020 7307 3406 Web: Email: 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.