According to the latest figures from the Society of Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) it looks like new van sales have stabilised in July, as predicted, with the market unable to sustain its unprecedented growth. A total of 24,506 light commercials were registered which represents a year-on-year drop of 0.2 per cent compared with the same month in 2015. This takes the year-to-date tally for 2016 to 216,472, still up by 2.6 per cent on the same period in 2015; itself a record-breaking year for sales.
Ford continues to dominate the sales chart with a commanding 30.8 per cent market share year-to-date with 66,667 registrations. That represents a year-on-year increase of increase of 18.9 per cent which is pretty impressive in anyone’s book. Volkswagen remains in second place with an 11.5 per cent share (24,903), with Vauxhall lying third, not far behind on 11.0 per cent 23,750).
Heavier vans saw a small decline in demand, with registrations for the 2.5t —3.5t segment down 2.2 per cent in July. These larger vehicles, however, account for 63.0 per cent of all the vans registered so far this year. Figures for smaller LCVs show mixed fortunes, with registrations of new vans below 2.0t up 1.6 per cent, while vans between 2.0t — 2.5 fell by 2.8 per cent.
“After a record performance in the first half of the year, it was inevitable that growth would start to level off over the summer,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT. “Maintaining business confidence for LCV operators will be critical to this sector’s future performance.”