Christmas comes early to the van market

Despite the semi-conductor supply shortage, the new LCV market has just recorded its best November in history


The new car market might still be uncertain, with semiconductor supply shortages and drivers wondering whether to go for an electric vehicle now or wait until later, but there’s no such problem for vans, according to latest industry figures.

So good has been the upturn in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) market, that it recorded the best November in its history. Last month, 31,320 new vans were registered, according to latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The number of vans entering Britain’s roads rose 11% on the pre-pandemic average for November, following two previous months of decline.

Growth was recorded in all van classes except those weighing less than 2.0 tonnes, which fell by 20% to 1,361 units. But this weight class has enjoyed growth in previous months, indicating how delivery has been impacted by the unpredictable supply of semiconductors. Uptake of vans weighing more than 2.5 tonnes grew by 8% compared with a locked-down November 2020, reaching 22,363 units, or 71% of the market.

The pick-up market grew 31%, while vans weighing more than 2.0 up to 2.5 tonnes grew 21% to 4,779 units. The most considerable growth was recorded in the unpredictable 4×4 market, which grew 40% to 207 units.

Thanks to underlying demand, the market is now up 23% year-to-date. However, the continuation of this growth into next year will depend not just on supply factors, but on demand side factors too, notably the strength of the economic recovery.

“A pre-Christmas boost to van registrations will be welcomed by the industry, but it remains a rollercoaster of a market,” says Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “Demand is clearly robust, but market volatility is likely to remain a feature as supply chain shortages throttle the sector’s ability to fulfil orders.”

Tom Johnston
Tom Johnstonhttp://johnstonmedia.com/
Tom Johnston was the first-ever reporter on national motoring magazine Auto Express. He went on to become that magazine’s News Editor and Assistant Editor, and has also been Motoring Correspondent for the Daily Star and contributor to the Daily and Sunday Express. Today, as a freelance writer, content creator and copy editor, Tom works with exciting and interesting websites and magazines on varied projects.

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