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New LCV market grew by over a fifth in 2021 with BEV demand more than doubling

  • A total of 355,380 new light commercial vehicles were registered last year
  • Market’s robustness attributed partly to strong underlying demand from key sectors
  • BEV uptake rocketed by 142 per cent – but it was still only one in 28 registrations
  • LCV market predicted to grow further to 363,700 units this year

Time 3 weeks ago

The UK’s LCV market grew by more than a fifth last year as it bounced back from the pandemic-hit 2020, according to figures released today (Jan 6) by the SMMT.

A total of 355,380 new light commercial vehicles were registered in 2021, equating to a 21.4 per cent growth from 292,657 and ending with the best December for the sector since 2015, which saw a 7.8 per cent increase, going up from 27,283 in December 2020 to 29,404 last month.

The SMMT said the market’s robustness was due in part to strong underlying demand from key sectors – notably construction and home deliveries.

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Battery-electric vehicle (BEV) uptake soared by 142.3 per cent, although the SMMT tempered it by saying it equated to a relatively modest 12,759 zero-emission vans and a total market share of 3.6 per cent – or one in 28 registrations as opposed to the passenger car market’s one in nine.

It said: ‘With petrol and diesel vans facing the same end-of-sale date as passenger cars, this shows just how far the LCV BEV market needs to grow even to replicate the shift taking place in the passenger car market.’

The SMMT predicts the LCV market will grow further to 363,700 units this year, bringing registrations roughly in line with 2019’s 365,778 units.

The 2015-2019 five-year pre-Covid average was 366,554.


SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘After a difficult 2020, the commercial vehicle sector has bounced back, with registrations recovering to just shy of pre-Covid levels.

‘While demand has remained robust, there is still the potential for market volatility with the Omicron variant and component shortages threatening supply chains.

‘Manufacturers are working hard to ensure deliveries, and with a record number of battery-electric vans registered this past year, customers can be assured that more of these new-technology vehicles will be available to keep society and businesses moving in an increasingly zero-emission manner.’

The top-selling LCV for December 2021 and the year as a whole was the Ford Transit Custom, pictured at top, with the Ford Transit taking second place for both.

December 2021 best-selling LCVs from SMMT

Source: SMMT

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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