Fleet News

Van sales power on towards new record

SALES of commercial vehicles so far this year are the highest since 1989 and are on target for record levels.

And compared to 2003's figures, registrations for light commercial vehicles (LCV) are up by 2.3% to 34,997 units.

Experts say total commercial vehicle registrations are close to late 1980s benchmarks and reflect positive economic growth.

Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: '2004 looks very good with commercial vehicle registrations running at a higher rate than last year. This is very encouraging and bodes well for Europe's biggest business-to-business commercial vehicle show, opening at the NEC on March 23. It looks like a bumper year on the back of a strong economy'.

Commenting on light commercial vehicle sales, an SMMT spokesman said: 'Within the LCV market only 4x4 utilities saw lower registrations compared to February 2003. This sector should see some stability in 2004, after a significant year on year decline in 2003.

'In this respect, January's fall of only 3.2% was encouraging.'

Figures show van registrations up to 1.8-tonnes were up by 6.9% in February and the SMMT said Vauxhall continues to be the driving force in this sector of the new LCV market.

The sector for vans weighing between 1.8- to 2.6-tonnes experienced the strongest growth, up 16% year on year. Medium and heavy vans, 1.8- to 3.5-tonnes, saw registrations rise 8.2% year on year.

The SMMT figures also show that car-type pick-up registrations are on the up – with a year on year growth of 5.9%.

Also, figures for new car sales show fleet registrations grew by 6.1% in the first two months of the year to 128,020 cars.

The Ford Mondeo was the best-selling upper-medium, with sales up 46.4% year to date, to 7,356 units, the Vauxhall Corsa was the best-selling supermini, with sales down by 5% to 8,335 units, the Ford Focus was best-selling lower-medium fleet car, up 14.3% to 12,967 units and the Vauxhall Zafira topped the mini-MPV sales chart, up 18.4% to 4,035.

LCV sales
Feb 2004 Feb 2003 Variance
All CVs: 17,785 16,731 6.3%
All LCVs to 3.5t: 14,248 13,348 7.0%
To 1.8t: 4,431 4,145 6.9%
1.8 - 3.5t: 9,605 8,877 8.2%
4x4 utilities: 248 326 -23.9%
All trucks: 3,327 3,189 4.3%
Buses and coaches: 174 194 -10.3%
All LCVs and trucks:
To 6t GVW: 14,560 13,633 6.8%
Over 6t GVW: 3,051 2,904 5.1%
Year-to-date
2004 2003 Variance
All CVs: 42,871 42,141 1.7%
All LCVs to 3.5t: 34,997 34,213 2.3%
To 1.8t: 10,433 10,877 -4.1%
1.8 - 3.5t 23,739 22,414 5.9%
4x4 utilities: 825 922 -10.5%
All trucks: 7,393 7,301 1.3%
Buses and coaches: 481 627 -23.3%
All LCVs and trucks:
To 6t GVW 35,647 34,838 2.3%
Over 6t GVW 6,743 6,676 1.0%

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