Fleet News

Van market heads for record with 27.9% year-on-year rise

THE commercial vehicle industry is steaming towards a record year, with June's star performers Ford and Vauxhall both increasing sales on 2002 levels.

June light commercial vehicle registrations were up by a massive 27.9%, to 27,646 units, with year-to-date figures up 14.3% to 150,900.

It is the fourth successive month that registrations have risen and is well above expectations, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

By the end of the year, the SMMT estimates sales may hit the 330,000 mark, beating last year's total of 322,258. Commenting on the figures, SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: 'Once again investment has driven commercial vehicle registrations to a remarkable increase. The record June figure is the fifth month of growth over the first six months of the year. The record registration figures reflect strong business investment and are a welcome and encouraging pointer to the state of the UK economy.'

While Ford was once again the leader in the light commercial vehicle market by a distance in June at 8,010 registrations, Vauxhall light CV sales were up by 59% to 4,466, giving it a 16.2% share of all sales and a clear second place behind the blue oval. Vauxhall's share has risen from an overall 12.1% in 2002 and 9.7% in 2001.

Ian Hucker, national van sales manager for Vauxhall, puts the firm's success down to a combination of major investment in the van team, dealer network restructuring and new products such as the Combo, up 133% this year and Vivaro up 87%.

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