Unlike car sales, which declined 3.4% last month, unusual in 'plate change' March, the UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market saw a healthy year-on-year demand increase of 10.6%, a record monthly performance, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
March registrations in the month accounted for almost two-thirds of 2019 first quarter volume as business buyers took advantage of new models and strong market incentives. A total of 66,123 new vans and pick-ups were sold in March, a rise of 10.6% (6,359 units). Both medium vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes and large vans weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes saw double-digit growth, with demand rising by 17.9% and 13% respectively. Registrations of pick-up trucks also rose, by 6.7%, to more than 11,000. Meanwhile small vans weighing less than 2 tonnes experienced a decline of 10.6%. March rounded off a positive quarter for the sector, with demand for new LCVs up 8.9% on the same period in 2018, at 102,743 registrations.