New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the new van market has reported growth in every month of 2019.
Registrations of new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) were up 11% in July, with 25,862 new models sold.
SMMT says that the growth in July was driven by demand for medium vans, weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes, and large vans, weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes, the segments rising 17.2% and 16.9% respectively.
Meanwhile pickups, 4x4s and smaller vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes all saw declines in the month. In the year-to-date the market is up 9% and SMMT’s latest 2019 forecast has been revised up accordingly, to 363,000 units.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Another month of growth for the new van market is welcome relief for the automotive sector as it faces multiple challenges simultaneously.
“Buyers continue to be attracted to the latest, cleanest vans which is good news for the manufacturers that have invested significant amounts to create them, but also for the environment and exchequer.
“Buying cycles do fluctuate, however, and for this performance to continue we need an end to Brexit uncertainty starting with a favourable deal for the industry.”
Growth in the new van market comes as the SMMT reports that the new car market is not so positive.
There were 90,847 new cars registered to fleet and business in July, a 5.5% decline on the 96,161 units sold in July 2018.
Year-to-date, fleet and business new car registrations now stand at 792,004 – 4% down on the 823,169 units registered in the first seven months of 2018.
It follows a fall in June, when there were 133,310 new cars registered to fleet and business during, a 5% fall when compared to the 140,324 units registered during the same month last year.
Overall, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 157,198 new cars were registered during July, a fall of 4.1%. It was the fifth consecutive month of decline, with the SMMT claiming that political and economic uncertainty, and confusion over future Government policy on different fuel types, continuing to knock consumer and business confidence.