New van market down by almost 10%

Vans in Botts new workshop

In the third consecutive monthly decline, UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations fell by 9.6% in November, figures suggest.

Market uncertainty and regulatory changes continued to affect performance, says the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with some 2,797 fewer models registered in the month as all van categories and 4x4s experienced double digit declines.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “A third consecutive month of decline for new van registrations is concerning, particularly after growth for much of the year.

“Ongoing political uncertainty doesn’t help inspire business confidence but this is essential if we are to embolden further investment in new vehicles which will go a long way to improving air quality in our towns and cities.”

In November, registrations of small vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes and medium vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes fell by 24% and 19.4% respectively.

Demand for larger vans weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes also declined, down 11.4%, and the 4x4 segment fell too, down 12.4%, while pickups were the only category to see growth, up 17.2%. Performance in the year to date is still up, however, rising 1.9%, with an extra 6,451 new LCVs joining UK roads.

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised commercial vehicle and car retailers across the UK, said: “As we enter the final month of 2019, we are expecting the market to stabilise as the WLTP changes work through the system. 

“Positively, the market is still up 1.9% year-to-date, however whilst dealers are still seeing demand for LCVs, many buyers are holding off making purchasing decisions until the current political and economic uncertainty eases.”

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