Fleet News

Threat of war fails to halt rise in van sales

COMMERCIAL vehicle sales enjoyed a buoyant new year, with demand up 12% during January to reach the third highest month on record.

Despite warnings that the threat of war in Iraq could stop fleet decision-makers from ordering new vehicles, demand continues to grow.

Total commercial vehicle sales reached 25,410 last month, while sales of light commercial vehicles were up 12.1% to 20,865. Sales of vans up to 1.8-tonnes grew 5.2% to 6,732, while vans between 1.8 and 3.5- tonnes saw sales rocket 18% to 13,537.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: 'The January figures were excellent in all sectors of the UK commercial vehicle market. 'Year-on-year growth was unexpectedly strong in January and followed a good performance in December. In the 2003 market we have got the fourth biggest January total ever and the best since 1990.'

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