Fleet News

Van sales up by 24.4%, but still below same period last year

VAN sales soared last month with the introduction of the T-plate but 1999 sales remain behind last year's first quarter figures, according to statistics published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders this week. Sales of vans under 1.8 tonnes totalled 11,372 last month (March 1998: 9,140), but the 24.4% increase failed to offset the slump in January and February sales leaving first quarter 1999 sales at 20,395 (1998: 22,052).

Meanwhile, new van sales in the 1.8-3.5 tonnes sector reached 20,034 last month up 32.6% year-on-year (March 1998: 15,107), but sector sales for the year-to-date remain behind last year's first quarter tally at 35,423 (1998: 37,129). In the light van sector the two biggest manufacturers - Ford and Vauxhall - have both seen sales fall in the first quarter of 1999. Last month Ford's light van sales totalled 3,269 (March 1998: 3,385) taking first quarter sales to 6,526 (1999: 8,077), while Vauxhall's were 2,458 (March: 2,457) taking first quarter sales to 4,407 (1999: 6,386).

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