Following a long period of post-recession growth the light commercial vehicle market slipped into decline in 2017 – a trend the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders expects to continue over the next couple of years as the Brexit-induced fall in business confidence exerts growing pressure on the economy.
As we report, there were winners and losers among the manufacturers.
Ford once more increased sales, growing its market share to more than 32% as its models topped every major sector in the market.
Mercedes also had a good year, despite its big-selling Sprinter being on run-out before the new generation arrives this year and also before its debut pick-up, the X-Class, has had a chance to make its mark.
In light of the political backdrop it is ironic that Vauxhall, which has never been shy to promote the fact that its most popular van, the Vivaro, is made in Britain, endured such a tough year.
The Luton-based brand, which has moved from American (under General Motors) to French ownership following its acquisition by the PSA Group, saw its sales plummet by almost a quarter.
The brand’s customers will be anxiously awaiting news of what happens next.
But perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel. Vauxhall has revealed pictures of its Combo Life – based on PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s light van platform – and if the product ranges are to run in parallel, then Vauxhall will be encouraged by the strong performances of the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert medium vans last year.
James Dallas is the Editor of What Van?