Heavy haulers drive soaring van market


UK van sales are continuing to climb, driven by demand for the heaviest vehicles.

Registrations of vans in the UK were up for the fifth successive month in June, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), that compiles the figures.

The market grew by 2.7 per cent to 36,700 vehicles, ensuring that the first six months of 2016 finished on a record 191,996, up three per cent.

The heaviest 2.5-3.5-tonne segment, which also accounts for by far the highest volume in the sector, is showing the strongest growth, up 11.3 per cent in June to 24,154 vehicles and 12.7 per cent year-to-date, to 120,395.

In contrast the second largest part of the market in both van size and sales volume, the 2.0-2.5-tonne segment, is continuing to slip. The June registrations of 4,762 were down 9.4 per cent, with year-to-date figures of 25,676 showing a 15.9 per cent slide.

Similarly sub 2.0-tonne vans were down 19.7 per cent in June to 3,375 units, year-to-date down 13.3 per cent to 19,625. Pick-up trucks, however, are showing strong growth, up 17.3 per cent in June to 4,219, 10.9 per cent year-to-date at 22,893.

Ford continues to dominate the market with 10,868 vehicles registered in June, the brand’s best-ever monthly CV performance. Second in June was Vauxhall (4,123), followed by Volkswagen (3,827), Renault (3,388) and Mercedes (3,330), just five units ahead of Peugeot.

Van manufacturers are reporting strong growth. Renault (pictured above) has seen a 20 per cent rise in sales to 13,401 vehicles in the first half of the year, its market share climbing one per cent to seven per cent.

Such performances, however, still keep the French manufacturer in seventh place in the year-to-date market, a long way short of Ford’s 59,239 registrations, almost three times those of second-placed Volkswagen on 21,878.

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Van Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars and vans for more than 20 years, and attends many new model launches each year.

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