LCV market continues 2022 trend downwards

The UK’s new light commercial vehicle market fell for the seventh consecutive month in July.

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, LCV sales were down 20.7% to 18,722 units. Despite strong order books, the decline is the result of ongoing global supply shortages, with last month’s registrations total some 23.9% below the pre-pandemic five-year average for July.

However, demand continues to increase for electric vehicles with 765 registered in July, up 21.2%, and a continuation of increased uptake seen in the first six months of 2022; there have been 8,865 EVs registered in the year to date, an increase of 55.7%.

Although this still represents only one in 18 of all vans registered so far in 2022, it is up from one in 37 a year ago.

With total registration volumes remaining weak, the industry outlook has been downgraded from 328,000 to 307,000 new registrations for the year, a decline of 6.5% on the previous outlook published in April.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The LCV market is struggling to recover post-Covid as global supply chain shortages and economic headwinds make the business environment even more challenging for both manufacturers and operators. In these circumstances, the continued growth in electric van uptake is admirable as the industry strives to deliver its Net Zero commitments. Given the importance of the commercial vehicle sector to Britain’s economy, its environmental ambitions and the need to keep society on the move, the next Prime Minister must look to restore economic confidence and support the sector’s transition to zero emission mobility.”