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Van market records best first half since 2021

Posted on 08 Jul 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 457 times.
Van market records best first half since 2021The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market declined -4.5% to 33,066 units in June, ending a record-equalling 17-month growth run, according to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Despite the fall, the market has remained robust in the first half of the year – up by 4.5% with some 177,620 new vans, pick-ups and 4x4s registered in 2024, the best performance since 2021.

The scale of June’s decline is, in part, artificially inflated compared with 2023 – which saw the best June performance for four years as the industry met pent-up demand following Covid-19, which varied across segments, with registrations of vans weighing more than 2 to 2.5 tonnes up by 14% to 7,169 units and those weighing less than or equal to 2 tonnes up 58.7% to 806. Vehicles weighing above 2.5 tonnes up to 3.5 tonnes, however, which account for two-thirds of the market, fell -8.3% to 21,677 units. Pick-up and 4×4 registrations also declined in the month, by -18.1% and -20.3% respectively.

Deliveries of battery electric vans (BEVs) fell for a third month this year, down -16.8% on June last year to 1,476 units. As a result, in the year to date, BEVs account for just 4.7% of all new light van registrations compared with 5.2% for the same period last year. With manufacturers mandated to ensure zero-emission vehicles comprise a minimum of 10% of their new van registrations this year, market share heading in the opposite direction is a cause for concern.

Manufacturers are working hard to deliver growing numbers of zero emission models to Britain’s roads, through new model launches and attractive offers to inspire the demand of every type of driver, but all stakeholders must play their part to deliver the market transition needed.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The best first half of a year since 2021 is great news for a market so intrinsic to economic growth, but this optimism will only continue if action is taken to re-energise zero-emission van demand. A new Government provides an opportunity to bolster the market with a strategy to grow the UK’s van-specific charging network at pace and maintain essential fiscal incentives to keep this vital market on track, without which our ‘net zero’ ambitions will be at risk.”