The new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew 8.6% in January, with more than 22,000 new vans and pick-ups registered, an uplift of 1,761 compared with January 2018.
The figures, from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), show that all segments saw growth, except medium vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes, where demand fell
Car-derived vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes and pickups both saw double-digit increases, by 31.7% and 13.4%, boosted by new model introductions. Demand also grew for large vans weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes, increasing by 7.1%, to 13,268 vehicles.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “January’s positive performance follows a mixed 2018, which finished on a particularly poor December, so some bounce-back was to be expected. Further fluctuations in demand are predicted over the coming months as the UK’s post-Brexit future remains uncertain.
“Operators need stability to invest and renew their fleets, which now depends on government providing the right conditions starting with removing the threat of ‘no-deal’.”
Ford led the market with a 31.7% market share, followed by Volkswagen at 11.7%. However, when you combine registrations from the PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall), sales total 5,647 units for January, which would easily put them in second position by volume.
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents commercial vehicle and franchised car retailers, said: “Demand for vans stems for business needs, and so current issues surrounding diesel and product availability do not pose as many issues as they do in the new car market.
“With many new models due to enter the market this year, coupled with attractive finance offers and better specification vehicles, dealers are optimistic that the LCV market will continue to thrive in 2019.”