April 26, 2018

British new van market declines -5.6% in March

Just under 60,000 new LCVs hit UK roads last month, representing a -5.6% decline on March the previous year, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes, pickups and 4x4s all saw demand increase in the month, up 1.8%, 6.8% and 73.9% respectively. However, this failed to offset a decline for medium and heavier vans, with registrations of vehicles weighing >2.0-2.5 tonnes down -2.0% and vehicles >2.5-3.5 tonnes falling -10.5%.

Year-to-date, 94,374 new LCVs have been registered on UK roads, a drop of -3.7% on the first quarter in 2017, with the bulk of the decline in the market for vans weighing >2.5-3.5 tonnes.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “A decline in the important plate change month of March is a concern and we need the right economic conditions to restore market stability and encourage buyers to invest in new commercial vehicles. The new van market is a key barometer of business confidence and while uncertainty remains, a degree of fluctuation in demand is to be expected this year.”