Mercedes Sprinter The Van Expert
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is challenging Ford in the van charts.

Registrations of new light commercial vehicles in the UK slumped by more than 11% in November, a slide that industry chiefs dubbed “worrying.”

A total of 26,486 new vans and pickups were registered during the month, 11.1% down on the same month in 2016 and the third consecutive fall in registrations. Year-to-date, registrations are down 4.1% on 2016, 334,133 new vans joining UK roads, with industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders claims is broadly in line with expectations.

Figures dropped across all sectors of the market, with demand for smaller vans falling the most, down 21.7% with 2,041 vehicles registered. The largest sector, for vans between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes, fell 9.4% with 16,593 registrations. The 4,488 2.0T-2.5T vans was 8.9% down on 2016, while pickups slid 14.4% with 3346 registrations.

Reacting to the results SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said that the decline is worrying, but the market remains at an historically high level.

“Nevertheless, economic and political uncertainty continues to affect business confidence and with it new van purchasing patterns, which is damaging, both for the market and for efforts to improve air quality,” Hawes added.

Call for action

Again he called on the Government to act to restore the conditions that give operators confidence to invest in their fleets and avoid a prolonged downturn. “Getting more of the latest, Euro 6 LCVs onto our roads is the fastest way to reduce emissions,” he said.

The Ford Transit Custom remained Britain’s best-selling van in November with 3,501 registrations, but its Transit stablemate was beaten into third place by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, its 2,142 registrations 124 ahead of the Ford.

The Volkswagen Transporter was fourth on 1,825 followed by the Transit Connect (1,733) and Vauxhall Vivaro (1,549) while Ford’s decision to sell the latest Ranger pickup as a full Uk model is proving justified – it was the seventh best-selling LCV in November with 1,127 registrations. In 2017 the Ranger has attracted 11,885 customers.

LCV registrations Dec 17 The Van Expert

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