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First-half record for UK van market

  • New van market achieves record performance in first six months of 2016, up 3.0% to 191,996 units.
  • Heavy vans (2.5t-3.5t) fuel demand, up 12.7% in the year-to-date totake nearly two-thirds share.
  • Demand for vans under 2 tonnes drops by a fifth
  • June was fifth consecutive month of sales growth
  • June registrations up 2.7% to 36,700.

BRITAIN’S new van market recorded its fifth consecutive month of growth in June, with registrations up 2.7% to 36,700 units, heavy vans driving demand which saw LCV sales rise to a new record according to figures released by SMMT.

June’s strong performance rounded off a record first six months for the sector, with overall demand in the year up 3.0% to 191,996 units.

Heavier vans (>2.5-3.5T) and pick-ups drove June’s growth, with registrations up 11.3% and 17.3% respectively, while smaller vans weighing less than 2.0-tonnes were less popular, with demand falling by a fifth (-19.7%).

The picture was the same for the year-to-date, with registrations of bigger vans – up 12.7% – dominating the light commercial vehicle market with a 62.7% share.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “It’s been an encouraging first half for the new LCV sector and, while growth may be slower than the record levels seen last year, the market remains strong with all the signs pointing towards a healthy performance in 2016. Maintaining economic certainty for van operators will be key to the sector’s ongoing success.”

The picture was slightly less rosy on the car registrations front, despite June rounding off a record half-year registrations – down just 0.8% and with a 4.5% drop in retail countered by a matching rise in fleet, doubtless partly assisted by a near 25% drop in business car registrations.

LCV sales rise to a new record

Ford was the UK leader in total vehicle, car and commercial vehicle (CV) sales in June with its highest June CV and fleet car volume on record as Transit Custom and Transit continue to lead CV sales, with 9th and 19th places respectively in the overall registrations. Fiesta Van, Transit Connect, Transit Custom, Transit and Ranger all lead their respective segments.

Ford light and medium commercials sales were 10,868 up from 10,547 compared with June 2015, corresponding to a 3.1 per cent increase compared with June 2015.

Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said:  “Sales remain surprisingly strong, despite the market hiatus around the referendum, which firmly underlines the success of exciting model range. We continue to consolidate and extend our long-standing UK market leadership through continued investment in exciting products and industry-leading technologies, delivered by the strongest UK dealer network.

New Transit EcoBlue

“Our highly successful Ford Transit and Transit Custom commercial vehicles also benefit this summer with the launch of the all-new Ford EcoBlue diesel engine, delivering significant cost of ownership and performance improvements for our customers.”

Meanwhile Renault was celebrating as its van sales in the UK grew by 20.3% to 13,435 vehicles in the first half of 2016, with  June sales totalling 3,390 vehicles; up by 47.6% on June 2015, considerably outpacing a van market up 2.4 per cent. Market share stood at 9.1% – up 2.8 percentage points compared to June 2015.

The award-winning Trafic has proved as popular as ever with business users across the UK with 8,722 of the third generation model sold in the first half of 2016 – up 37.8% on the same period in 2015. Renault’s growth in the van market builds upon a record year for LCV sales in the UK last year.

Commenting on the results, Paul Flanagan, managing director Groupe Renault UK & Ireland, said: “After a record year for Renault vans in the UK in 2015 with sales up some 40%, Renault has seen even further growth in vans in the first half of 2016 with sales up over 20%.

“Our current performance reflects Renault’s ever-increasing appeal in the UK van market with our offering of an innovative and efficient range of vans, supported by our growing business-focused Renault Pro+ network, and continues to aid in the delivery of our GO5+ mid-term plan objectives.”

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