New van market gets kicks on plate 66

Date: Wednesday, October 05, 2016   |   Author: James Dallas

New LCV sales hit almost 60,000 in the plate-change month of September, a 1.9% increase year-on-year, according to the SMMT.

In the nine months to the end of September registrations surpassed 290,000 for the first time since the pre-recession year of 2007.

The burgeoning pick-up sector experienced an eighth consecutive month of growth, with sales up 16.4% year-on-year to 8,805 units.

The biggest segment of the market, covering medium and large vans weighing from 2.5 to 3.5-tonnes grew 5.2% in September to 35,893 and models weighing between 2.0 and 2.5-tonnes increased 11.2% to 8,934.

However, registrations in the sub-2.0-tonne segment fell 17.6% to 6,126 and sales in the niche 4x4 van category, in contrast to the all-wheel drive pick-up sector, slumped 93.8% to just 99 units.

In the year-to-date the 2.5 to 3.5-tonne van and pick-up segments were ahead of 2015 but 4x4s, small vans weighing less than 2.0-tonnes and light vans from 2.0-2.5-tonnes were behind the same period last year.

At 19,434, market leader Ford said sales of its LCVs were at the highest level ever recorded for a September sales month

SMMT boss Mike Hawes welcomed the moderate September sales hike but struck a note of caution about the potential impact of changes in the political and economic climate.

“The month of September did not disappoint, as businesses took advantage of the new 66-plate and a range of attractive and flexible finance options. To maintain this high level of demand and drive fleet renewal, positive business conditions must be assured despite the long-term political and economic uncertainty."


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