No lack of confidence in new van market

May growth is fifth positive month on the bounce.


The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market climbed 5% in May, the fifth consecutive month of growth.

New figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that 29,142 new vans were registered on British roads.

The growth comes at a time when the new car market is sliding, and the SMMT puts the strength in van sales down to new models and competitive offers on the market.

Wider trends seen throughout 2019 continued, with demand for smaller vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes rising most in the month, up 14%. Registrations of mid-sized and larger vans weighing 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes and 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes also rose, up 10% and 5% respectively.

The pickup and 4×4 sectors were less healthily, down 2% and 26% respectively. But year-to-date the UK’s LCV market remains robust, up 7.5% with 156,489 vehicles sold and all segments posting rises.

1906 Van market The Van Expert

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes described another month of growth for the UK’s van market as welcome news and evidence that investment by manufacturers into new models is continuing to help attract buyers.

“Vans today are more high-tech than ever, with impressive fuel economy, safety features and performance,” Hawes said.

“However, business purchasing is cyclical in nature and for the market to stay strong we need the right economic and political conditions,” he added.

Ford continues to dominate the LCV market with principally its Transit models, having 35% of the sector year-to-date with 51,595 registrations. However the blue oval’s share slipped back in May, down 9.2 per cent to 8,883 as second-placed Volkswagen enjoyed a 6% gain to 3,691 vehicles. Peugeot, Mercedes and Vauxhall complete the top five.

1906 Van best sellers The Van Expert
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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