August saw the highest number of new LCV registrations for any month in over a decade, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Over 15,000 new registrations were placed in August, which was a 6.3 per cent increase year-on-year. Heavy vans (2.0-3.5 tonnes) were responsible for the bulk of this growth, while pick-ups and 4x4s also showed solid improvement on 2015 figures. The only downside came from light vans (under 2.0 tonnes), which slipped by more than 5 per cent and heavy rigids (3.5-6.0 tonnes), which fell sharply by nearly 30 per cent.
The SMMT report highlights low interest finance offers and heavy discounting as contributors towards the strong market performance. Year-to-date, the overall market is up 2.9 per cent over 2015 figures, but SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes sounded a note of caution for the future.
“After a slower July, it is good to see growth in the new van market pick up again in August, with a record made in this traditionally quiet month,” said Hawes. “To ensure this performance continues, it is vital that government takes the necessary steps to secure economic stability and maintain confidence for operators to continue to invest in their fleets.”
As usual, Ford sat atop the best-selling manufacturer table, with results that basically equalled the performance of second- and third- places (Vauxhall leapfrogging Volkswagen this month) combined. It was also a good month for Mercedes-Benz, which overtook Citroën and Peugeot to finish fourth, while Land Rover made an appearance in the Top Ten, finishing seventh. Renault fell from seventh to tenth, dropping below Nissan and Fiat, while Mitsubishi dropped out of the Top Ten altogether.
Year-to-date, Ford remains dominant with nearly 71,000 new registrations. Volkswagen is a very distant second at just under 27,000 registrations, narrowly ahead of Vauxhall.