Demand for new vans continued to tumble in October as a result of falling business confidence.
Registrations last month fell by 7.4% to 24,968 units according to latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures, following a 4.2% downturn in the all-important September market. Last week saw the SMMT revise its 2017 market prediction downwards, forecasting this year will bring a 2.8% drop in the LCV market compared to 2016.
October’s decline was seen across almost all segments, with vans under 2.0 tonnes down 20.2%, midsize vans falling 14.6% and vans from 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes seeing a 5.2% drop. Only pick-ups remained stable, up 0.5%. Meanwhile registrations of rigids were down 34.6%.
The downturn was also felt in the year-to-date van registrations, which were down 3.5% overall to 307,647 units. Small and large vans were down 20.2% and 3.4% respectively although those in the 2.0 to 2.5 tonne sector increased 4.3%. Pickups rose 10.1%. Registrations of rigids fell 9.3%.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “While the market remains at a very high level, the recent decline in business confidence, caused by economic and political uncertainty, is now having an impact on van registrations. Government must therefore address these concerns and create the conditions necessary for the market to prosper.”