LCV market falls again in July

New LCV registrations fell by 6% for the second month in succession, according to the latest numbers published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The van market was down across all segments, particularly in the mid-size 2.0 – 2.5-tonne sector. This is an unusual result, as year-to-date this sector has been the best performer of the van market relative to 2017.

On the positive side, the pick-up market continues to grow and is up 14% on the same month last year. The commercial 4×4 market again shows massive growth, albeit on a tiny overall level, and the 3.5+ tonne rigid market was up considerably over last year’s results.

LCV registrations July 2018Year-to-date, the LCV market is down 2.7% overall and has endured an up-and-down time of it, although the underlying trend for the last two years has been a steady decline of about 5%.

As usual, the SMMT insists that it’s up to the government to address this decline and “create the conditions necessary for the market to prosper”.

The Bank of England’s decision to increase official interest rates last week won’t help sales over the next six months, but based on evidence since the last increase in November 2017, it probably won’t hurt either.

Top ten list is pretty stable

There wasn’t a lot of movement in the LCV best-seller list for July. The top two places continue to be held by the Ford Transit Custom and the big brother Transit, while the Volkswagen Transporter recovered to third place after a slower month in June.

There was some minor shuffling of positions in the rest of the top ten, but only the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dropped out altogether, replaced by the Toyota Proace.

It was a poor month for Mercedes-Benz all round, with a 55% drop in LCV registrations and a 44% drop in the 3.5+ tonne market compared to July last year. This may be due to supply limitations with the all-new Sprinter range, in which case it’s unlikely to be a long-term issue.

LCV best sellers July 2018

Stuart Masson
Stuart Masson
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.

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