Registrations of new LCVs fell by almost 75% year-on year in the UK in May as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to decimate demand.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the majority of the 7,541 LCVs delivered during the month went to fleets running food distribution, home delivery, utilities, broadband and emergency services operations.
Registrations for the first five months of 2020 were down by just under a half to 78,835, compared to the equivalent period last year.
Just 741 pick-ups found homes in May, a fall of 80.3% and sales of other 4x4 LCVs slumped 83.8% to 26.
Small vans weighing 2.0-tonnes or less saw an 84.0% decline to 360 units and light vans weighing from 2.0-2.5-tonnes dropped 78.7% to 1,002. Registrations in the biggest 2.5-3.5-tonne sector, covering medium and large vans, dipped 70.4%, with 5,412 units delivered.
The Ford Transit Custom was the top seller in May followed by the Mercedes Sprinter and Vauxhall Vivaro.
“While slightly better than April, these figures are still extremely worrying,” said SMMT boss Mike Hawes.
“As more businesses re-open, we are seeing a gradual uptick in fleet renewal orders. However, restoring operator confidence to ensure they continue to invest in their fleets is the only way to get more of the latest, cleanest commercial vehicles on our roads. This will be critical not just to the economy but to the resumption of normality for business and society, which depends on this sector.”