New LCV sales rocketed by 22 per cent last month – the strongest February since 1998, the SMMT said today (Mar 4).
What is usually one of the weaker months of the year because of many operators holding out until the March plate change saw 17,205 new models sold.
That was attributed to demand from the construction sector and online deliveries, which helped offset falling figures elsewhere.
The last time figures were so high for a February was 23 years ago, when 18,044 new vans were registered, said the SMMT.
Larger vans weighing 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes and pick-ups enjoyed the biggest surge in demand – up 30 per cent to 11,809 and 26.8 per cent to 1,716 units respectively.
Sales of 4x4s and medium-sized vans rose by 6.3 per cent and nine per cent respectively.
But vans weighing less than or equal to 2.0 tonnes suffered a 25.3 per cent drop to just 689 vehicles registered.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘These figures are welcome news, but it’s important to remember that February is typically a small volume month ahead of the March plate change and we want to see this growth continue throughout the year.
‘Capitalising on this momentum will be important and an economic plan that encourages growth could help pivot the LCV market toward full recovery.
‘With a clear roadmap now in place for how the nation can safely emerge out of lockdown, businesses can look to the next few months with increasing confidence and upgrade their fleets with the many latest, most efficient vans on the market.’
Figures for the year to date were up 9.5 per cent in total.
The best-selling van in February was the Ford Transit at 2,699 units, followed by its Custom stablemate at 1,979, while third was the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, pictured, with 1,375 vehicles sold.