Almost 35,000 new vans hit British roads in June despite the ongoing semiconductor crisis slowing a bumper recovery for the market in April and May.
A total of 34,636 new vans were registered in the sixth month of the year, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The number is up 14.4 per cent on the same month last year – when the pandemic was in full force – but down 13.9 per cent on June 2019.
The slump has been put largely down to the ongoing semiconductor crisis which has affected production volumes and caused delays in the market.
Year-to-date figures were up 75.9 per cent on last year, and 1.8 per cent on the pre-pandemic 2015-2019 five-year average.
In total 191,513 new vans have exchanged hands, meaning that 2021 is currently the third best year for van uptake since records began.
Demand for vans was particularly bolstered by operators looking to renew and expand their fleets to meet rising online delivery business and demand from the construction sector.
Demand for larger 2.5-3.5 tonne vans drove the increase in June, making up 71 per cent of all registrations in the month – some 24,434 vans.
Other segments saw drops in demand compared to 2020.
Registrations of lighter vans weighing less than or equal to 2.0 tonnes were down 18.7 per cent and those of vans weighing more than 2.0-2.5 tonnes fell by 4.3 per cent.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘It’s good to see the van market continue to perform well, with pent up demand, online retail and the construction sectors all on the rise.
‘Semiconductor supply issues have extended lead times, but business confidence is growing and fleets are embarking on decarbonisation programmes.
‘Full market transition, however, still depends on the creation of nationwide charging infrastructure to support society and maintain commercial vehicle momentum.’
Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association, added: ‘There is a general belief the market could have performed even better, had it not been for the worldwide shortage of semiconductors which is slowing supplies.
‘Dealers are confident that the market will remain at high levels, but there are concerns with supply issues and subsequent delays in delivering new vans to customers.’
The SMMT also revealed that the Ford Transit Custom was Britain’s best-selling van for the month of June, with 4,015 sold.
The top ten can be seen below:
1. Ford Transit Custom – 4,015
2. Ford Transit – 3,008
3. Volkswagen Transporter – 2,677
4. Vauxhall Vivaro – 2,557
5. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – 1,909
6. Ford Ranger – 1,800
7. Renault Trafic – 1,675