UK van registrations fell 5.8% in June, more than reversing a 2% rise in May in what remains a volatile market.
New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) show that 35,182 new vans were registered during the month. Year to date the market is 2.3% down, with 180,696 vans registered.
All major sectors in the market showed falls, the effect most felt in the 2.5 to 3.5-tonne sector which is by far the largest. This has dropped 4% in the first half of 2018, with 110,449 vehicles registered.
The biggest falls in percentage terms have come in the smallest up to 2.0-tonne sector, down 9.6% with 14,108 registrations in 2018. Conversely, sales of pick-up trucks are rising, up 4.1% in June 1.3% over the year with 27,392 registered.
SMMT chief executive Make Hawes says the present volatility is not surprising. “Variable buying cycles.. ..are a natural feature of the market,” he says.
“Despite this and recognising the fact that demand is still at a historically high level, the overall trend is downwards, with Brexit uncertainty and its negative effect on business confidence threatening long-term growth,” Hawes adds.
The Ford Transit Custom continues to dominate the market. The latest model launched recently and registrations in 2018 are so far at 27,734 – more than 11,000 ahead of the second-place van, the Custom’s larger sister vehicle the Ford Transit with 16,710 registrations.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter sits down in ninth place on 7,485 registrations, but could climb the table in the second half of the year as the all-new and much higher-technology latest model establishes itself in showrooms.