“Light commercial vehicles registrations fell by -5.3% in May, in what is a possible realignment of a market which was extremely buoyant last year. Ahead of the elections, dealers report a degree of uncertainty for customers who are likely to delay the purchase of a new van, as they are looking for reassurances and a more stable economy”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, commenting on the latest SMMT’s light commercial vehicle registration figures.
Light commercial vehicle registrations declined by -5.3% in May with 26,982 new units registered. Year to date the performance is very similar, with a decline of -5.0% on last year.
Demand for pick-ups has been increasing dramatically this year, up 26.2% in May and 19% in the first five months of 2017, there appears to be no direct business reason for this, unless buyers are substituting conventional vans for pick-ups. This is now the second largest segment in terms of volume of vehicles registered with 22,230 units registered year to date. It is followed by the established mid-size vans of 2.0-2.5 tonnes, with 20,756 vehicles registered so far this year.
It is concerning to see that the largest sector of light commercials, comprising vans between 2.5-3.5 tonnes, which make up around 60% of all light commercials’ sales, slipped by -10.1% in May and was down -4.2% year to date. This might represent just a stabilisation, while vehicles are ordered by corporates and larger businesses which use them mostly for internet deliveries in all sectors including door-to-door supermarket deliveries.
Ford, with its wide range of commercials, remains the market leader with a share of around 32% this year. However, it is showing a modest decline in volume of -1.3%. Year to date, Mercedes vans have shown great resilience with growth of 6.2% which takes their market share to 6.7%.
Robinson added, “We will be looking closely at the light commercial vehicle market in the forthcoming months as we expect consumer confidence to pick up in the post-election period.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Gabriele Severini, NFDA Communications Officer
Tel: 020 7307 3423
Mob: 07880 039897
Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422
Press Office fax: 020 7307 3406
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.