New van registrations fell 5.9% last month in total, although the pick-up sector recorded double-digit growth.
Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show a total of 23,309 vans and pick-ups were registered in July compared to 24,766 in July 2017. Demand for small, medium and large vans fell by 2.8%, 28.0% and 3.8% respectively but pick-up registrations increased 13.9%.
Registrations for rigids (3.5-6t) were up 37.6% from 444 to 611.
Year-to-date, demand was down 2.7% to 204,005 vans and pickups compared with 209,692 for the first seven months of 2017 – the SMMT attributed this to the result of fluctuating fleet buying cycles coupled with ongoing low business confidence.
Chief executive Mike Hawes added: “While variations in buying cycles are a natural feature of the light commercials sector and demand is still at high levels, the overall trend is one of decline. Ongoing uncertainty and low business confidence are undoubtedly having an effect; therefore government must address these concerns and create the conditions necessary for the market to prosper.”