March 21, 2018

New LCV market falls in 2017 but overall demand remains high

The new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market declined in 2017, a -3.6% fall on 2016, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It is the market’s first decline since 2012 but with 362,149 new vans and pick-ups driven off forecourts in the year, demand is still at its third highest in a decade.

The markets for vans under 2.0 tonnes and heavy vans weighing 2.5-3.5t drove the overall annual decline, falling -20.3% and -3.1% respectively. However, demand for pick-ups and smaller vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes saw uplifts of 7.8% and 2.3% respectively, compared with 2016.

December, meanwhile, saw LCV registrations increase 2.9% to 28,016 units. Pick-ups were particularly popular, with demand rising 6.0% in the month, while registrations of larger vans weighing 2.5t – 3.5t grew 7.5%. Demand for car-derived vans weighing under 2t and smaller vans weighing 2.0t – 2.5t fell by -20.4% and -5.7% respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “While the market has slowed in 2017, this was in line with expectations and demand remains at a high level. In fact, LCV registrations have increased 62.5% since 2010. For 2018, however, we expect the economic and political uncertainty to continue to affect the market so government must rebuild business confidence and encourage operators to invest in new vehicles given fleet renewal is fastest way to reduce overall emissions.”