‘While the momentum clearly comes from the heavy van sector, other vehicles show reassuringly steady and incremental growth.
‘There is room for further growth over the rest of the year as the general economic backdrop remains healthy. Interest rates are rising and this will temper further growth this year, but with demand remaining healthy, the case for investing in new vehicles is a positive one, though a note of caution on the pace of growth over the second half of the year is appropriate.’ One of the stars of the second quarter so far has been the four-wheel drive utility sector which, according to the SMMT, has seen strong growth for three months, with June seeing an increase of 23.4%. Year-to-date growth is only 1.3%, though, with the SMMT reckoning it ‘shows stability after a recent year of sustained falls’. One theory for the quiet first quarter followed by an explosion of sales in the second could be that fleets were waiting for the Budget to see what Gordon Brown would announce with regard to benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax on double cabs. However, car-type pick-up registrations were down 7.4% in June and down 8.0% for the year-to-date. The SMMT believes that after five years growth, the sector is stabilising at around 13,000 units a year. Van registrations under 1.8 tonnes are down 0.3% over the year to date. The powerhouse is the heavy sector. Medium and heavy van (1.8 to 3.5 tonnes) registrations were up by 15.9% year-on-year in June, with 2.6- 3.5 tonnes vans up 16.7%.
|LCV registrations YTD|
|LCV - 1,800 YTD||LCV 1,801-3,500 YTD|