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November 7, 2018

Large vans drive UK LCV market

Demand for new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) increased in October, according to data compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

By Olly Wehring

Demand for new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) increased in October, according to data compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Registrations of vans and pick-ups rose 14.1% year on year to 28,494, reflecting fluctuating demand throughout 2018 so far.   Growth was driven by a rise in demand for the popular 2.5-3.5-tonne vans, up 27.6% to take a 70.1% share of the market while demand for pickup trucks increased 3.2%.

In contrast, small and medium-sized vehicles both experienced declines, down 24.9% and 14.8% respectively. The rise followed months of fluctuating registrations caused by variations in fleet buying cycles and business confidence.   Year to date, 302,741 new LCVs have been registered, a drop of 1.6% on the first 10 months of 2017, and in line with current forecasts. However, demand remains at a high level, up a third (33.0%) on the same period in 2013.   Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "While it is positive to see a boost for new vans in October, the growth comes on the back of a turbulent 10 months, with ongoing fluctuations in demand. Although the sector remains strong, we expect this trend to play out over the remainder of the year, as ongoing political uncertainty affects business confidence and hence operator investment."

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