LCV Market Hits New High in August

The Ford Transit Custom was the UK's biggest selling van in August

The Ford Transit Custom was the UK's biggest selling van in August

Last month, van sales in the UK were 1.5 per cent higher than they were during the same period a year earlier, giving the industry its best August performance figures since 2005.

This is according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which reported that lighter vans weighing between 2.0 and 2.5 tonnes saw the biggest spike in demand, with sales up by 40 per cent.

Conversely, larger vans saw a fall in registrations, dropping by 4.0 per cent year on year, or 0.6 per cent compared with July’s sales figures.

Report spokesperson, Mike Hawes, said that although August is typically a slow period for van sales, it was reassuring to see the market continue to grow, even with the introduction of new registration plates just around the corner in September.

He also explained that the market was on track to meet analyst predictions in 2017, hitting its stride and maintaining stability, which will be consistent over the coming months and possibly into the new year ahead.

The UK’s biggest selling van in August was the Ford Transit Custom, which took the top spot, ahead of the full sized Transit van in second place. The third most popular model was the Transit Connect, indicating that Ford is by far and away the most powerful LCV manufacturer in the country at the moment.

Mercedes-Benz managed to squeeze into fourth place with the Sprinter, while the VW Transport rounded out the top five.

In the year so far, the Transit Custom and Transit vans are well ahead of the competition, while both Mercedes-Benz and VW are trailing slightly, but managing to keep up the pressure, even with a sizeable gap to consider.

Pickup trucks continued to expand their influence over the LCV market, with registrations up eight per cent in August. Meanwhile, just eight traditional 4x4 SUVs were sold to commercial buyers last month, compared with 611 in August of 2016, representing a 99 per cent dip in demand, which effectively signals the end of their reign.

Unlike in previous months, no single pickup truck model was able to break its way into the top 10 bestsellers list, which suggests that the growing number of manufacturers catering to this niche is having a disruptive impact on the dominance of the incumbents.

Mercedes-Benz has recently announced the world’s first ‘premium’ pickup truck, while other recent arrivals like the Renault Alaska and Fiat Fullback are putting models like the Mitsubishi L200 and Toyota Hilux on the defensive.

Heavier vans of between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes in weight are still outselling all other LCVs so far this year, with just over 225,000 units registered across the UK. However, this represents a slight decline compared with last year, while light vans have seen an 11.4 per cent increase in sales.

As retail growth in the UK continues to be catalysed by online shopping, demand for delivery vans will remain strong, so any market shifts will be influenced by other industries being impacted.

Categories: Ford / Transit Custom /

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