UK van market slides back in June

Sales remain volatile but trend is downwards.

UK van registrations fell 5.8% in June, more than reversing a 2% rise in May in what remains a volatile market.

New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) show that 35,182 new vans were registered during the month. Year to date the market is 2.3% down, with 180,696 vans registered.

All major sectors in the market showed falls, the effect most felt in the 2.5 to 3.5-tonne sector which is by far the largest. This has dropped 4% in the first half of 2018, with 110,449 vehicles registered.

The biggest falls in percentage terms have come in the smallest up to 2.0-tonne sector, down 9.6% with 14,108 registrations in 2018. Conversely, sales of pick-up trucks are rising, up 4.1% in June 1.3% over the year with 27,392 registered.

SMMT chief executive Make Hawes says the present volatility is not surprising. “Variable buying cycles.. ..are a natural feature of the market,” he says.

“Despite this and recognising the fact that demand is still at a historically high level, the overall trend is downwards, with Brexit uncertainty and its negative effect on business confidence threatening long-term growth,” Hawes adds.

SMMT June Van sales The Van ExpertThe Ford Transit Custom continues to dominate the market. The latest model launched recently and registrations in 2018 are so far at 27,734 – more than 11,000 ahead of the second-place van, the Custom’s larger sister vehicle the Ford Transit with 16,710 registrations.

Only the Volkswagen Transporter prevents Ford sweeping the top ten podium, the VW’s 11,822 registrations keeping the Ford Transit Connect in fourth spot with 9,666.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter sits down in ninth place on 7,485 registrations, but could climb the table in the second half of the year as the all-new and much higher-technology latest model establishes itself in showrooms.

SMMT June Van top ten 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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