UK new LCV registrations were up by 2% year-on-year in January, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The organisation says the growth was driven single-handedly by the 2.5-3.5t van segment – by far the market’s biggest – with all other sectors seeing declines.
The stats show that 16,496 2.5-3.5t vans were registered last month, which was a 25.4% increase compared with January 2020.
In contrast, vans weighing 2.0-2.5t were down by 16.2% to 3,659 registrations, while registrations of vans weighing less than 2.0t collapsed by 50.1% to 1,231.
Pick-up truck registrations were down by 25.8% to 2,550, while the niche 4x4 LCV segment was down by 30.6% to 93 registrations.
The SMMT said that although LCV market growth is still expected for 2021, it had downgraded its forecast, which now shows a 17.5% increase to 343,850 vehicles by the end of the year.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “January’s figures are welcome news, particularly after the difficult past year. Although one month’s performance does not full recovery make, the future must involve measures that can deliver long-term changes for the sector if we are to meet ambitious targets and address both climate change and air quality goals.
"The fastest way to do this is by encouraging uptake of the latest low emission vehicles, regardless of fuel type, and business confidence remains vital for this transition.”
The Ford Transit Custom clocked up 2,711 registrations in January, ahead of the Ford Transit with 2,379 and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with 1,931.
The Vauxhall Vivaro was fourth with 1,415 registrations, ahead of the Volkswagen Transporter with 1,363.
Completing the top ten were the Peugeot Partner (1,081 registrations), Ford Ranger (1,027), Citroen Berlingo (956), Ford Transit Connect (933), and Vauxhall Combo (840).