A positive month for LCV registrations as volatile year continues

April saw a second month of growth for new LCV registrations this year, although the year-to-date-market is still slightly down on the first four months of last year.

The overall new LCV market was up about 4% on last April, with 23,501 new vehicles registered.

However, dealers and manufacturers won’t be breaking out the good champagne just yet, as April 2017 was a very poor month – down about 19% on the year before. So really it has been a small improvement on a significant low point.

Looking at the detailed breakdown of the figures, it was a solid month for every category except pick-up trucks. All van categories, from less than 2.0m tonnes up to 6.0 tonnes, showed improvement. 4x4s, which admittedly are the smallest and most variable segment of the industry, showed a second consecutive month of spectacular growth over last year’s negligible results.

New LCV registrations, April 2018
Other than pick-up trucks, it was a solid month all round.

Downturn for pick-ups

It’s the first downturn in the surging pick-up market in a long time, with some 500 fewer trucks being registered in April compared to 12 months ago. This time last year, pick-ups were the only bright spot on a fairly miserable sales ledge for the LCV market.

Manufacturers are unlikely to be too concerned at one poor month of pick-up results. The trend is still one of strong growth, and there is an ever-increasing number of players in this segment that will drive continued growth.

2018 Ford Transit Custom Sport frontThe king is dead, long live the king

The best-selling LCV of the last few years is pretty much gone. A few examples of the outgoing Ford Transit Custom are still kicking around Ford dealers, but there’s not many left. So, good news for everyone else, right?

Well, no. Unfortunately for every other van manufacturer, the new Ford Transit Custom is arriving in dealerships and seamlessly taking over the reign of its predecessor. If you haven’t yet read Andrew’s review of the facelifted Transit Custom, then spoiler alert: he doesn’t think Ford’s 50-odd year dominance of the van market will end anytime soon.

There weren’t many surprises among the best-selling LCVs in April. The Vauxhall Vivaro slid out of the top ten, which will be disappointing given that owners PSA Group have just announced investment in the Luton factory. In its place was the Peugeot Boxer large van. Other than that, not a lot to report.

Top ten new LCVs April 2018
Ford continues its market dominance, with four vehicles in the top ten.

Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk
Stuart founded sister site The Car Expert in 2011. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for the car industry for over thirty years. He now provides overall direction for our four automotive titles.

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.

Latest articles

Van crime falls in 2019 but still costs victims thousands

The number of vans stolen fell by 5% and thefts from vans dropped by 10% in 2019 – but the average cost of goods stolen is increasing, according to new figures.

Renault releases first details of new Kangoo

Renault has released the first details of its all-new Kangoo van, which boasts a fresh look as well as new infotainment and safety systems.

Ford unveils E-Transit

Fully electric version of the bestselling Transit range claims an estimated range of 217 miles, lower TCO and no compromise on payload.

MAN and Bevan Group team up to provide St John Ambulance vehicles

St John Ambulance is preparing to deploy a new fleet of eight specially designed logistics vehicles that will be used to provide frontline support to the NHS and local communities.

Whitby Morrison buys 55 new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters to make into ice cream vans

Crewe-based ice cream van manufacturer Whitby Morrison has taken delivery of 55 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 314 CDI chassis cabs to build ice cream bodies onto.

Can I get a service or MOT during the new lockdown?

We answer your questions about whether garages, service centres and MOT test stations can remain open during the UK's second lockdown.