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Van demand bounces back in May but truck market remains subdued

That’s the finding of the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures, which show that total commercial vehicle registrations rose 12.6% in May to 27,198,with the rolling year up 14.5% to 337,857.

Van demand in May 2014 bounced back from a blip in April, posting 18.4% growth to 24,283 registrations, accelerating the year-to-date margin of +13.3%.

In contrast, truck registrations remained subdued in May with volumes down 20% in the month. The rolling year remained up 21.7%, fuelled by late 2013 registrations ahead of new Euro-6 legislation.

‘The van sector rose 18.4% in May, a solid performance that was pleasing to see after a -0.6% blip in registration levels last month,’ said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. ‘Vans continue to perform in-line with SMMT's expectations for the year, while trucks lag behind 2013 levels as the effect of switching to new Euro-6 compliant models is ongoing. It is likely that 2014 truck volumes will fall behind last year's total, while new van introductions should sustain this part of the market.’

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association which represents commercial vehicle and franchised car retailers across the UK, welcomed the increase in demand for commercial vehicles. 

She commented: 'Looking ahead into the second half of the year, the NFDA hope that dealers are optimistic that the van market will remain healthy, and demand for heavy trucks will increase following a slow start to the year.'


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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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