Light commercial vehicle registrations fell by 24.8 per cent in June, new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) reveal.
Just over 30,000 vans and pick-ups were registered in the month, some 10,000 fewer than June 2019.
However, June was a big improvement on May’s figures where the market was down by 74 per cent.
June’s best-selling van was the Ford Transit Custom (5,930), followed by the Ford Transit (2,770) and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2,203). The same three lead the year-to-date chart too with Transit Custom comfortably at at 16,369 with the Transit at 8,464 and the Sprinter at 8,132.
Demand for smaller vans weighing 2.0 tonnes or under dropped 49.4 per cent while registrations of medium-sized vans weighing more than 2.0-2.5 tonnes and larger vans weighing more than 2.5-3.5 tonnes also fell, down 19.1 per cent and 22.8 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, demand for pickups continued to decline, with registrations down 26.9 per cent.
Elsewhere, 4x4s saw 1.1 per cent growth despite tough economic conditions, as more high-tech, ultra efficient new models joined the market, said the SMMT data.
Prolonged lockdown measures mean performance in the year to date has almost halved (-44.6 per cent), down more than 87,500 units, with registrations of light commercial vehicles in negative growth for five of the six first months of the year, and all segments experiencing a double-digit decline in the first half of the year.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘Although we are seeing a gradual improvement in demand as the UK starts to get back to business, we are still a long way off normal.
‘The pandemic has stalled all but a few essential businesses, and those restarting now are doing so at reduced pace to ensure safety of their employees and in response to a cautious buyer appetite.
‘Restart has been slow, while more uncertainty lies ahead as the UK grapples with business nervousness and potential regional lockdown measures. The industry will do all it can to attract buyers but restoring operator confidence remains the vital next step.
‘A successful restart for the sector will be critical to fleet renewal – and the UK’s long-term green recovery – given the crucial role light commercial vehicles play in urban areas.’
The figures were published on the same day (July 6) as new car sales data where registrations were down by 34.9 per cent.
- Rate your manufacturer and favourite suppliers in Car Dealer Power – it takes a few minutes to have your say here
- Join our breaking news WhatsApp group. Broadcast only, no chit chat, and headlines to your phone. Send us a message and ask to join here.
- Download the latest digital edition of Car Dealer Magazine Issue 148 for free here.