The future for Light Commercial Vehicles looks bright, according to Steve Crawshaw, specialist consultant commercial vehicles at LeasePlan.
Crawshaw told delegates at the Fleet Van Summit that the LCV market was “on its way back up”.
“There is an air of optimism about the CV market,” he said. “Manufacturers are now back producing new ideas and new vehicles are being brought out that had perhaps been tucked away.
“We have seen a lot of companies going out and tendering for new business which is a good sign. A lot of older vehicles are having to be replaced.”
Crawshaw pointed to the steady increase in registrations.
“Van registrations are a true guide of what’s happening out there” he said. “These are genuine registrations. They are not vehicles that are registered and parked in a field.”
He predicted that registrations would be nearer 260,000 by the end of 2011 – up from 187,000 in 2009.
“That’s a huge increase. But we still have a long way to go to get back to where we were a couple of years ago,” he said.
Crawshaw also said that there were “some very strong residual values coming through, being supported by shortage of used stock”.
But there is still a focus on quality.
“The expectation of the used trade buyer hasn’t dropped during the recession,” Crawshaw said.