The prediction comes as the organisation releases new commercial vehicle sales figures, which show a strong start to the year for van registrations, with an 11.9% rise to 16,049 units in January, although they remain down for the rolling year.
Meanwhile heavy truck registrations decreased by 19.6% last month to 2,882 units, but were still 2.1% up for the rolling 12 months.
Overall commercial vehicle registrations rose 5.6% in January 2013 to 18,931 units.
Nigel Base, SMMT Commercial Vehicle Manager, said: ‘2013 is set to be a telling year for the commercial vehicle sector, with van registrations off to a good start and the truck sector's performance under close scrutiny ahead of the introduction of Euro 6 from January 2014.’
Sue Robinson, director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association, added: ‘The van market made a positive start in 2013 largely due to keen offers and strong marketing campaigns currently being offered by manufacturers.
‘The pick-up and midsize van sectors both experienced strong sales during January. These vehicles are often purchased by private buyers or the self-employed, which perhaps indicates a boost in a sector that is often used as a barometer on the general public’s spending confidence.
‘The overall decline in the truck market follows on from the steep drop in sales experienced at the end of 2012.’For more of the latest industry news, click here.