Figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), show CV registrations in October 2000 increased slightly, with most growth at the heavy end of the market.

Overall market Total registrations for October were 24,370, up 3.16 per cent from October last year - a rise of 746. YTD the market is up 4.19 per cent or 10,228 units to 254,491.

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said 'The CV market is good barometer of the nation's economic health. The economy is strong and depends on commercial vehicles to get the majority of its products to consumers. We expect demand to continue at a similar level into next year, closely shadowing the nation's economic performance.' Light CVs (LCV)

All but light 4x4 utility registrations were up on the same month last year. LCVs under 1800kg rose 3.36 per cent to 6,257. YTD the sector was down 1.18 per cent to 67,136 LCVs between 1801-3500kg rose 5.57 per cent for the month to 12,348 units, and by 7.81 per cent to 129,815 units YTD.

Christopher Macgowan commented 'The LCV market has also gained from the overall strength of the economy in general and specifically from a steady growth in home delivery work.'

Trucks and artics

The HCV sector saw registrations rise by 4.10 per cent to 5,003 units in October. Strong artic tractor registrations almost certainly reflect continued confusion over changes to the RPC (reduced pollution certificate) scheme. Operators are trying to get trucks registered ahead of any deadline, but the government has yet to confirm its plans for vehicle excise duty (VED) reductions. YTD the sector is up 7.77per cent to 42,426 units.

Christopher Macgowan said 'The continuing uncertainty over the RPC scheme is causing manufacturers and operators problems. By registering their new trucks ahead of a still unknown deadline, operators can get a VED rebate worth up to £1,000 per year. For large fleets this is an important cost saving in an intensely competitive business environment, which explains operator and manufacturer frustration at what they see as government indecision. We all hope the imminent pre-budget statement may shed some light on what manufacturers certainly believe is an unacceptable muddle.'

Buses and coaches

Bus and coach registrations dropped 16.95 per cent in October to 338 units. YTD the picture is better, with registrations steady at 1.34 per cent up at 3,923 units.

New commercial vehicle registrations - October 2000.

The attached tables show the registration figures for Great Britain, Northern Ireland, The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands in detail. Providing the SMMT is acknowledged as the source of this information, the figures may be quoted. Substantial reproduction needs specific approval by the SMMT.