CV sales dive by a quarter

UK light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations recorded their fifth consecutive month of decline in May, falling 25.1% to 22,000 units.

This is according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Although the fall is amplified in comparison with last year, which saw the highest May registrations total in history, the market was still some 21.5% below the pre-pandemic average as component shortages restricted production and therefore delivery.

Some 869 battery electric vans (BEV) were registered in the month – 276 more than last May. BEV registrations for the year to date are 62.7% higher than last year, due in part to significant large fleet orders delivered earlier in the year. As a result, over the year to date, overall BEV market share has more than doubled to 5.2% – testament to the growing choice provided by manufacturers, with one in three models now available as a plug-in.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Global supply chain shortages continue to hold back the market following last May’s post-pandemic bounce back. Manufacturers have, however, worked hard to get the latest zero-emission vans to customers, more than doubling their market share. However, this is still an emerging market and everything must be done to encourage drivers to switch to zero emission commercial vehicles if we are to achieve our net zero goals. The industry will tackle the supply chain challenges undermining delivery but we urgently need a van plan to address the paucity of dedicated commercial vehicle infrastructure, as well as incentives to boost the sector’s electric transition.”