LCV sales were up 6.1% year-on-year at 254,075, out of a total market of 313,411, up 5.2%. In the LCV market, vans up to 1.8 tonnes ended the year with sales up 1.5% on 2000, with 79,689 sales, but it was in the 1.8–3.5-tonne sector that the market really motored, with sales of 166,418, an increase of 8.8%.
Demand for 4x4 utilities dropped by 0.8% to 7,968. Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: 'The highest yet December total pushed the full year figures in 2001 to 313,411 units — the biggest annual total since the record in 1989 and the third highest annual registrations.
'The result is very encouraging, coming despite current economic uncertainties. In the commercial vehicle market as a whole, demand for heavy vans has been the strongest, complemented by better than expected demand for trucks.' Among the LCV successes was Citroen, which achieved record sales. Citroen's CV operations manager John Hargreaves and Brian Roskell, CV sales manager, celebrated with a quick lift on a Berlingo, courtesy of Glenn Ross, Britain's strongest man.
During December, commercial vehicle sales rose by 23% to 21,161 units to end the year on a high point, including a 29% rise in LCV sales to 17,341 units and a 27.5% rise in 4x4 sales.