The UK is getting set to leave the European Union on 31 January.

You could be forgiven for thinking this would finally bring some much-needed clarity and stability back to the automotive sector, but in fact we still face a further 11 months of uncertainty as the UK and EU negotiate to reach a trading deal, with the worst-case scenario of leaving with no deal still, apparently, a possibility. Against this backdrop, however, the light commercial vehicle sector has been remarkably resilient, and after a wobble in the autumn, the market recovered at the end of the year to finish 2.4% up on 2018 with 365,778 new vehicles registered – the third-highest total on record. The explosion in online shopping has played a part in boosting sales and the biggest challenge facing the industry is how to get these deliveries to urban customers in an environmentally friendly manner.

James Dallas is the Editor of What Van?