LCV market 14.8% down in July - Glass's

Andy PictonAuthor: Andy Picton, chief commercial vehicle editor, Glass’s (pictured)

July 2021 added a further 23,606 new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) to appear on UK roads. This was 4,095 units (14.8% down) on a COVID-impacted July 2020 and the first decline since December last year.

Semi-conductor and raw material shortages continue to affect production volumes, with widespread opinion expecting this fragile supply chain to last well into next year.

The main drivers for this level of LCV demand are from increasing home delivery, construction and essential service delivery vehicles.

In a disappointing month, every sector recorded declines in demand.

The biggest reductions were recorded in the 2.0 – 2.5 tonne, Under 2.0 tonne and the Pickup sectors, with registrations down -41.4%, -38.2% and -26.3% respectively.

Demand for larger vans in the 2.5-3.5 tonne sector - which made up 70.5% of all vans registered in July – fell by 5.2% to 16,653 units.

The Stellantis Group secured a strong month with the Vauxhall Vivaro, Peugeot Boxer, Peugeot Partner, Citroen Dispatch and the Citroen Relay all positioned in the top ten.

However, Ford secured top spot with the Transit Custom again outselling all its rivals.

Its big brother, the Ford Transit secured third place, whilst the Ford Ranger was in 4th place respectively.

The Volkswagen transporter (second) and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (fifth) took the other places in the top ten.

The year-to-date performance is up 1.1% on the 2015-2019 average. Year-to-date, 215,119 units have been registered in 2021 and reflect a market that is 57.5% higher than the same point last year.

Top five LCV registrations

YTD 2021

July 2021

July 2020

Ford Transit Custom


Ford Transit Custom


Ford Transit Custom


Ford Transit


Volkswagen Transporter


Mercedes-Benz Sprinter


Volkswagen Transporter


Ford Transit


Ford Transit


Mercedes-Benz Sprinter


Ford Ranger


Volkswagen Transporter


Ford Ranger


Mercedes-Benz Sprinter


Vauxhall Vivaro


Although there is an expectation that the LCV market will return to near 2019 levels by the end of this year, there is still a huge level of caution as the effects of the pandemic continue to distress the automotive industry.

Many manufacturers have already started to prioritise production as a combination of COVID restrictions, the slow but steady fleet switch to clean vehicle technology and ongoing supply chain shortages continue to affect vehicle production.

Extended lead-in times are in place for many vehicles and with this fragile supply chain expected to last into 2022, there is still some way to go before the industry returns to normal.

Used LCV market overview

Driven by the never-ending demand for retail-ready LCVs, the used market for July saw average values remain strong.

Euro 6 stock accounted for over 60% of all vehicles sold during the month, but only 8.5% of those vehicles were under two years old.

First time conversion rates dropped 4.3% versus June and are now at their lowest point during the last twelve months. Retail sales in July were also the slowest in twelve months.

Although demand is healthy for new stock, production and raw material issues has resulted in extended lead-in times for most vehicles.

This in turn has seen the majority of de-fleets delayed with current vehicles not likely to be changed until Q2 2022.

The lack of new stock entering the used market is of a growing concern, with volumes expected to remain low for at least the next three months.

As a result, used prices look set to remain high not only for the remainder of the year, but into H1 2022 as well.

July in detail

Glass’s auction data shows the overall number of vehicle sales in July decreased by 17.4% versus June 2021 and was 15.7% lower than twelve months ago.

Average sales prices paid decreased by 1.34% versus June but remain 25.06% higher than the same point last year.

This decrease is a result of the average age of those vehicles sold stock increasing from 71.1 months in June to 73.3 months in July and the average mileage increasing from 71,658 miles to 75,917 miles.

The latest average mileage is 2,446 miles (+3.23%) higher than in July 2020.

Medium-sized vans were the most popular at auction accounting for 39.7% of all sales in July, whilst the highest proportion of all LCVs sold (36.7%) were in the over 6 years old age bracket.

Glass’s continues to monitor the LCV market closely and has an open dialogue with auction houses, manufacturers, leasing and rental companies, independent traders and dealers as well as the main industry bodies.

This information, combined with the wealth of knowledge in our CV team ensures Glass’s valuations remain relevant in the marketplace.

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London mayor urged to be flexible as ULEZ set to expand in August

How the cold impacts EVs

Road test: VW ID Buzz Cargo

New contract hire firm established to help fleet CV electrification

Towing: know the limitations

First drive: Daf XD

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