The UK new van market recorded a slight upturn of 1.1% in July with 24,766 registrations.
The figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show medium sized vans (> 2.0 – 2.5t) continued to record growth with a 41.4% rise to 4,837 units. In contrast the pick-ups sector saw its first decline in 16 months, down -9.5% to 2,870, while the sub 2.0-tonne van sector fell 12.5% to 2,212. Vans (> 2.5 – 3.5t) dropped 2.8% to 14,831 while the rigids sector dropped 4.5% to 444 units.
Overall year-to-date figures saw a decline of -3.1% on 2016, with 209,692 registrations, with the SMMT saying the drop was in line with its forecast and follows a long period of significant growth. Pick-ups rose 14.8% to 29,920 units but the sub 2.0-tonne van sector was down 19.6% to 17,817 with vans in the 2.5t to 3.5t bracket down 4.3% to 129,871 units. In contrast, vans 2.0t-2.5t were up 9.2% to 31,781.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, commented: “Although the market is experiencing a moderate decline, the volumes of new vans being registered in the UK are still at incredibly high levels and in line with our expectations for 2017. While it is positive to see stable demand in July, as this follows a period of significant growth we anticipate that the market will continue to moderate, reaching more sustainable levels over the next months.”
Richard Tilden, head of commercial vehicles at Lex Autolease, predicted a continued uplift towards the end of the year, adding: “With used van values remaining strong, the demand for commercial vehicles by business across all sectors remains healthy.”