The new van market remained stable in July, rising 1.1% with 24,766 registrations, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
July marked another positive month for medium sized vans (> 2.0 – 2.5t) with an impressive 41.4% rise. Meanwhile demand for pickups saw a decline for the first time in 16 months, down 9.5%. However, the first seven months of 2017 remain strong for the segment, up 14.8% with nearly 30,000 already registered this year.
Overall year-to-date figures saw a decline of 3.1% on 2016, with 209,692 registrations. However, this follows a long period of significant growth seen in new van registrations and is in line with SMMT forecasts for the market this year.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Although the market is experiencing a moderate decline, the volumes of new vans being registered in the UK are still at incredibly high levels and in line with our expectations for 2017.
“While it is positive to see stable demand in July, as this follows a period of significant growth we anticipate that the market will continue to moderate, reaching more sustainable levels over the next months.”
Richard Tilden, head of commercial vehicles at Lex Autolease, said: “A slight growth in new commercial vehicle registrations in July is encouraging and we expect to see continued uplift towards the end of the year. With used van values remaining strong, the demand for commercial vehicles by business across all sectors remains healthy.
“Even before the Government’s Air Quality Plan was announced, we saw an increase in in enquiries about electric vehicles. The whole life cost of leasing electric vans has continued to fall in the past 12 months, often now to levels comparable to diesel vehicles, meaning they are an increasingly viable and sustainable option. However, diesel vehicles will remain vital to keep Britain moving for a number of years and businesses must select the right van for their specific needs.”