Registrations were down 8.3% to 42,305, mainly because of a 35.6% drop in truck sales and a similar fall in coach and bus sales. Last year's rocketing market was entirely artificial, as lorry operators scrambled to meet legislation to force Euro II emissions legislation.
In the light commercial vehicle market, progress has been more steady, with sales slightly down to 36,539 in September, a 1.7% fall. However, for the year-to- date, LCV sales remain 4.1% ahead of the same period last year, at 201,609. Demand for vans up to 1.8-tonnes dropped to 9,617 last month, a 14.6% fall, while in the 1.8-3.5 tonne segment sales were up 3.6% to 25,647. For the year-to date-the market up to 1.8-tonnes is down 3.9% at 59,857, while the 1.8-3.5-tonne market is booming, up 7.7% to 134,717.
SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan, said: 'The growth trend over the first nine months still points to the UK commercial vehicle market in 2002 being equally as good as last year's total.'