LCV sales rising
- Demand for light commercials up 3.3% in March 2016 to 63,913 units
- 98,906 vans registered in Q1 – up 1.2% on same period last year.
- Large vans drive growth, with 14.2% rise in March offsetting drops for smaller vehicles.
- Ford takes one third of market
THE new van market finished the first three months of the year on a high, with a 3.3% uplift in LCV sales demand in March, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The 63,913 registrations made in the month represented some two-thirds of the quarter’s total volume of almost 99,000 new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) hitting British roads. This is up 1.2% on the same period in 2015. The trend towards heavier vehicles continued, with a substantial 14.2% rise in the 2.5-3.5T segment last month, counteracting a decline in registrations of vans weighing less than 2.5T.
The smallest sector – 4x4s – continued a dramatic 43% year-on-year drop.
SMMT chief executive Mikes Hawes said: “Traditionally one of the busiest months of the year for the new British van market, March’s new 16 plate gave a welcome boost, closing the first quarter on a positive note after a more subdued start to the year.
“Following the sector’s record performance set in 2015, we expect to see steadier growth over the coming months.”
Ford maintained market leadership with a third of the registrations, equal to the combined return of its three closest rivals Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Peugeot who are neck and neck.
Ford light commercials sales in March were up from 3,755 to 3,959, compared with March 2015, and LCV market share increased from 20.9 to 25 per cent. Ford medium commercials (MCV) sales in March were up from 13,449 to 16,918, against March 2015, and MCV market share increased from 30.2 to 34.2 per cent.
For the year to date there were corresponding increases in LCV and MCV sales and share and Ford’s total CV sales increased from 26,470 to 31,975 compared with the same period in 2015 with total CV sales share increasing from 25.2 to 28.6 per cent.
Fiesta Van, Transit Courier, Transit Connect, Transit Custom, Transit and Ranger were all placed in the top three in their respective market segments.