New LCV sales fall 4% in September

Pickups and large vans steady, smaller vans down

The new LCV market continued a year-long trend of slight decline in the busy month of September, with an overall 4% fall in new registrations compared to the same month one year ago.

The latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the LCV market was down by about 2,500 units in September, with smaller vans (under 2.5 tonnes) the cause. Larger vans and pick-ups maintained registrations at about the same levels as last year.

For the year to date, overall LCV registrations are down 3.1% or about 9,000 units – despite growth of about 4,000 pick-ups over that period compared to 2016.

LCV registrations, September 2017The small van (under 2.0 tonnes) sector has been the biggest loser over the course of the year, with numbers down 20% compared to last year, equating to about 6,000 vehicles. Large vans (2.5-3.5 tonnes) are also in decline, down just over 3% on year-to-date results in 2016, which is another 6,000 vehicles. Some of these losses have been absorbed by buyers moving up to slightly larger (2.0-2.5 tonnes) vans, which have enjoyed a 6% increase.

Some of these losses have been absorbed by buyers moving up to slightly larger (2.0-2.5 tonnes) vans, which have enjoyed a 6% increase on the first nine months of last year. However, that only accounts for about 2,500 vehicles.

The pick-up segment remains healthy, with 11% growth over equivalent 2016 registrations adding an extra 4,000 vehicles to the roads. In September, pick-ups overtook mid-size vans to become the second-largest LCV market segment, although year-to-date it still lags a bit behind.

Few surprises in top ten results

As usual, Ford dominated the best-selling list for September. The mid-size Transit Custom topped the charts with double the sales of its second-placed big sister, which in turn edged out the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The Ford Ranger pick-up popped up into the top ten, in eighth place.

This means that Ford had four vehicles in the top ten, leading each of the segments for small, medium and large vans as well as pick-ups. Cheery news for everyone else, then…


Top ten LCV models, September 2017

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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