Light commercial vehicle market declines

‘The new light commercial vehicle market saw a decrease of -7.4% in October, which continues to reflect businesses and consumers’ uncertainty surrounding the economy and Brexit, said Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA).

The overall market of light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes declined by -7.4% in October to 24,968 units. Year-to-date, the market has seen a decrease of -3.5% on last year.

Pickups were the only segment which remained stable in October (+0.5%), confirming the positive trend seen over the past months. These are dual-purpose vans, which are purchased both as trade as well as family vehicles. This sector is not far from becoming the second largest segment of the light commercial vehicle market with a total of 43,998 units registered year to date.

Small and medium vans up to 2 tonnes and between 2 – 2.5 tonnes both continued to see double-digit declines of, respectively, -20.2% and -14.6%. These vehicles are usually purchased by self-employed professionals, tradesmen and service engineers.

Following last month’s marginal growth, heavy light commercials between 2.5 tonnes – 3.5 tonnes saw a decrease of -5.2% in October. These heavy vans, generally bought by fleets and corporate buyers, represent more than 60% of all LCV registrations and their performance tends to mirror the general economic outlook of the country.

Robinson continued, ‘Despite this decline, the light commercial vehicle market remains at high levels and, as the industry expected, year to date it is only slightly down on last year’s record performance.’