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New van sales increase by more than a quarter in September but SMMT warns of looming uncertainty

Time 12 months ago

The LCV market grew by 26.4 per cent in September, the SMMT revealed today (Oct 5).

A total of 52,096 vans, pickups and 4x4s were registered, which was up by 10,880 units on what the SMMT labelled a weak September 2019 at 41,216 units, caused at the time by regulatory changes distorting the market.

September 2018 saw 53,878 units shifted, giving an average of 55,788 vehicles between 2014 and 2018.


This means that new van registrations were down by 3.3 per cent on 2018’s September market and dropped by 6.6 per cent on the September average between 2014 and 2018.

The top-selling LCV in September 2020 was Ford’s Transit Custom, pictured, at 8,437 units, followed by the Blue Oval’s Transit and Ranger at 3,764 and 3,744 respectively.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘The sector has shown incredible resilience throughout the ongoing crisis and September’s numbers indicate some confidence is returning as operators seek flexibility and lower operating costs.

‘However, the context of these figures is important as the headline growth belies a very weak September 2019 and is still short of the rolling average.


‘From new social distancing restrictions to job losses as the furlough scheme comes to an end next month and the ticking clock that is the end of the Brexit transition period, the next quarter holds myriad challenges for the industry.’

Nearly all segments enjoyed double-digit increases against previous low volumes, with the only exception being small vans weighing less than or equal to 2.0 tonnes, which fell by 2.5 per cent – 74 vans fewer than last year.

Meanwhile performance for the year to date is still low – down by 27.4 per cent, or almost 80,000 units under 2019 levels.

Source: SMMT

Vans market falls by 16.1 per cent in August 2020 after enjoying first increase of year in July

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