SMMT and Ford show impact of vans on economy

Vans now contribute £59 billion a year in wages to the UK economy, and the national fleet has grown by 59% since 2000 according to new research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Another report commissioned by Ford also shows that van use has contributed more than €675 billion to the EU economy in 2017.

E-commerce has led this surge in van use. Amongst EU countries, the UK is now the biggest e-commerce buying market with 83% shopping online as against 60% in the EU.

The UK has seen a rapid rise in self-employment to 4.8 million in 2017 from 3.3 million in 2001.

SMMT chief Mike Hawes said: “The UK’s van fleet is the backbone of our society, driving our economy and allowing millions of workers to carry out jobs that our country relies on. Industry is supporting these businesses by responding to a changing society, developing and delivering the cleanest and safest vehicles in history. To continue to thrive, this vital sector needs policies and incentives that encourage businesses to invest in the latest technology that best suit their needs to help them deliver for Britain.”

The Centre for Economics and Business Research report for Ford found that more vans are covering more kilometres – driven by huge growth in online shopping and self-employment.

“Vans offer crucial support to a world where how we live, work and get about is quickly changing. This report shows that through their contribution to the wider economy, light commercial vehicles truly are the backbone of business in Europe,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.

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