According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), new LCV registrations in 2016 totalled 375,687, the highest figure ever recorded and representing a year-on-year rise of 1.0 per cent. It also marks the fourth consecutive year showing growth in the new LCV market.
The record was achieved despite a downturn in December sales compared to 2015, when registrations fell for only the fourth time in 2016. Despite the 10.4 per cent drop, it was still the second biggest December on record after 2015's all-time record month when demand grew by 14.6 per cent.
Top seller Ford had an incredible 2016, ending the year with a total of 115,554 registrations, a year-on-year rise of 27.0 per cent and accounting for a 30.8 per cent market share. It also bagged to two top slots in the sales charts with Transit Custom at number one (49,744) and the Transit taking second place (29,965). The Vauxhall Vivaro came in at number three on 22,791. Volkswagen retained its second place in the overall manufacturer sales chart on 45,358, with Vauxhall a solid third thanks to 37,727 registrations.
Overall in 2016, pick-ups were the biggest success story of the year, with 47,715 vehicles leaving showrooms; an uplift of 17.6 per cent. The segment grew significantly in every month except January, culminating in a bumper December when demand rose 52.2 per cent. Meanwhile, heavy vans weighing 2.5t – 3.5t also grew in the year by 4.8 per cent to 232,948 units to take a 62 per cent market share.
“Another record year for light commercial vehicles is great news, even with marginal growth, and underlines the fundamental strength of the sector,” said SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes. “To ensure future fleet investment and growth in this important market, buyers and manufacturers are looking for a strong economy and business environment.”