Van sales struggle as UK's stability wavers

Van sales struggle as UK's stability wavers

Van sales struggle as UK's stability wavers

The number of LCVs registered nationally last month was down 7.4 per cent year on year, reflecting the current state of uncertainty surrounding the political and economic resilience of Britain in 2017.

Figures published by the Society of Motor manufacturers and Traders show a sharper fall in sales than has been experienced in previous months so far this year. While analysts are concerned about how this trend will influence the market going forwards, there are a few positive figures in amongst the problematic ones.

There were dips in activity across almost every segment of the LCV market, with compact vans weighing under two tonnes seeing the biggest drop-off in sales of just over a fifth. Large vans suffered less in terms of sales, but registrations were still down by 5.2 per cent.

Conversely, pickup trucks managed to secure half a percentage point of growth, which is not much in the context of the wider market but does serve as a reminder that the number of vans being sold in the UK is still at close to record levels.

So far this year there has been a 3.5 per cent fall in van registrations in comparison with 2016. Analysts anticipate that the year-end total will be down by around 2.8 per cent.

Report spokesperson Mike Hawes said that this contraction of the LCV market had been anticipated as a result of the general downward trend seen in recent months. He explained that businesses were being more cautious due to the overriding atmosphere of uncertainty surrounding the country’s future, while reiterating the message that the government needs to do more to allay the fears of consumers and companies alike to avert further issues.

While September is traditionally a month in which new vehicle sales increase, October tends to be much quieter by contrast. And the manufacturer breakdown of the registrations seen last month paints a fairly consistent picture of the market.

Ford retains the top two positions with the Transit Custom and full-sized Transit, as it has sold almost 5000 units of these two van ranges together.

VW managed to push slightly ahead of Mercedes-Benz, with the Transporter outselling the Sprinter by just 15 units. It may not be enough to claim victory over the course of the entire year, but it is a sign of healthy competition.

The Transit Connect appeared in fifth place overall, outdoing the Peugeot Boxer and Vauxhall Vivaro. Ford also managed to get its Ranger pickup truck back into the top ten by selling just over 1000 units.

In the year to date the list of the top ten most widely registered vans and pickup trucks looks slightly different, with the Renault Traffic managing to squeeze into this upper tier in spite of not managing to outpace its biggest rivals in October alone.

All eyes are on the UK’s automotive market as an indicator of how stable the country is both economically and politically. For the time being, the future looks uncertain.

Categories: Ford /

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