Fleet News

June sees all-time LCV sales record

The first six months has seen light commercial vehicles (LCV) sales up 9% on 2003 to 164,461. In June alone, 30,753 LCVs were registered – 11.2% more than June last year.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), in total 35,952 commercial vehicles, including trucks, found homes in June.

This took the total for the year to 377,552 – already more than the whole of last year – and much of this massive growth is down to the light end of the market below 3.5 tonnes. Christopher Macgowan, chief executive at the SMMT, said: ‘We’ve got all-time record commercial vehicle registrations in June, driven by vans and fuelled by the strongest economy in Europe.

‘CV registrations are a lead indicator of business and consumer demand, as both sectors rely heavily on road transport for distribution and services.

‘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
2004 2003 2004 2003
Citroen 7,236 7,978 5,148 5,173
Fiat 143 143 5,932 5,127
Ford 9,633 5,850 38,199 35,486
LDV - - 3,722 4,209
Mercedes-Benz - - 11,608 10,172
Mitsubishi - - 11,608 10,172
Nissan 733 0 5,794 3,585
Peugeot 3,340 3,810 4,726 5,045
Renault 4,238 4,058 6,751 5,062
Suzuki 1,855 1,620 - -
Toyota - - 3,587 3,737
Vauxhall 14,232 17,769 10,137 6,297
Volkswagen 1,155 1,386 8,041 7,168

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