Van sales hit new peak

New light commercial sales grew for a fourth year in a row to reach an all-time high in 2016.

December figures dropped by 10.4%, but it was still the second highest December on record to complete annual sales of 375,687 units.

Pick-ups were the biggest success story with 47,715 vehicles leaving showrooms, up 17.6%, while heavy vans weighing 2.5-3.5T also grew in the year by 4.8% to 232,948 units to take a 62% market share.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘Another record year for light commercial vehicles is great news, even with marginal growth, and underlines the fundamental strength of the sector. To ensure future fleet investment and growth in this important market, buyers – and manufacturers – are looking for a strong economy and business environment.’