Registrations of new light commercial vehicles increased by 22% in February, resulting in a 9.5% year-on-year growth to date. The figures represent the strongest February since 1998.
Growth figures were inspired by a 30% year-on-year increase in demand for vans weighing more than 2.5-3.5 tonnes. In total, 17,205 LCV units were registered in February. Demand for pickups also increased by 26.8%, 4X4s by 6.3% and vans from 2.0-2.5 tonnes by 9%. Demand for vans under 2.0 tonnes dropped by -25.3% and for rigids between 3.5-6.0 tonnes by -22%.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “These figures are welcome news, but it’s important to remember that February is typically a small volume month ahead of the March plate change and we want to see this growth continue throughout the year. Capitalising on this momentum will be important and an economic plan that encourages growth could help pivot the LCV market toward full recovery. With a clear roadmap now in place for how the nation can safely emerge out of lockdown, businesses can look to the next few months with increasing confidence and upgrade their fleets with the many latest, most efficient vans on the market.”
Improved registration figures can in part be attributed to demand from the construction sector and growth of online deliveries. During the first two months of the year, demand for larger vans is up by 6,069 units year-on-year. However, the market continued to fall in other areas and is reflected in the most recent commercial vehicle manufacturing figures.
In January, UK commercial vehicle production was down -31.5% to 5,616 units. This is split between a drop of -28.8% for domestic markets and -33.6% for overseas. Demonstrating the importance of global trade for UK CV manufacturers, 53.2% of all units were for overseas markets.