Fleet News

Significant falls in van sales

THE March registration letter change and Budget uncertainty fuelled significant falls in van sales last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Light van sales dropped to 3,042 last month from 6,128 in February last year taking sales of under 1.8-tonne vans to 9,023 this year (1998: 12,912).

Meanwhile, sales of vans in the 1.8-3.5 tonne sector slumped to 5,624 (February 1998: 10,735) taking sales for the year to 15,389 (1998: 22,022). Of the van manufacturers Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Renault and Tata all bucked the downward trend to record year-on-year sales increases last month.

This week the SMMT said commercial vehicle sales were expected to fall 8% this year and stabilise next year. Light van sales are expected to total 76,500 this year (1998: 81,564) followed by 77,000 units next year, while medium and heavy van sales are expected to tally 131,400 this year (1998: 143,250) followed by 131,800 next year.

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