Small and medium vans were chiefly responsible for the new LCV market falling 6% in September compared to the same month last year, according to data released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Sales of large vans (2.5 – 3.5 tonnes), which make up the largest sector of the market, were also down by 4%, but that was minor compared to small vans (under 2.0 tonnes), which dropped by 43%, and medium vans (2.0 – 2.5 tonnes), which fell by 14%.
It was brighter news for pick-ups, whose sales rose by 9% and large rigid vans up to six tonnes, which were up 16%. As has been the case all year, commercial 4x4s were up enormously but still only make up a very small sector of the market.
For the first nine months of the year, the LCV market is only down 3% on the same period last year, despite the repeated warnings of the perils of Brexit and how it will destroy the automotive industry. This suggests that the market is somewhat less worried about Brexit than industry spokespeople would have us believe.
According to the SMMT, the UK is the most popular market in Europe for pick-up trucks. This is certainly reflected in this month’s registration numbers, with three different pick-up models in the lower half of the top ten best-sellers.
September was a strong month for the British-built Vivaro, and that has seen it leapfrog the Sprinter, Peugeot Partner and Ford Ranger in year-to-date sales.