SMMT – heavy van registrations down; lighter, up

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has published research that suggests that the demand for heavier vans fell for the fifth consecutive month, with registrations for vehicles weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes down 0.6%.

The light commercial vehicle (LCV) market has however remained stable, with 15,619 vans being registered in August.

Over the year to date, heavier van registrations dropped by 4% while pickups and smaller van registrations grew by 14.4% and 11.4% respectively.

The SMMT figures showed that the demand for new vans grew by 1.5%. This was the best August result in 12 years. This was largely driven by a 39.9% uplift in smaller vans of weight between 2-2.5 tonnes.

“August is traditionally one of the quietest months of the year, ahead of September’s plate change, so the moderate increase in the new van market is welcome news,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “While year-to-date figures show demand easing, this is in line with market expectations and overall registration volumes remain at a very high level.

“This stabilising of the market is indicative of what we can expect for the remainder of the year.”

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