LCV sales dip six per cent

UK light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations fell six per cent to 16,165 units in February compared with the same month last year, when pent-up demand saw the market grow 22%.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports that despite the global shortage of semiconductors and rising economic headwinds including inflation, the market remained 14.6% above pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, demand for battery electric vans grew by an exceptional 347.6% in the month with 1,741 units registered, primarily as a result of some significant fleet orders, which positively distorted what is traditionally a low volume month.

Year-to-date, LCV registrations are down by 18.2%, but the SMMT forecasts the LCV market to grow two per cent overall in 2022.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “LCV registrations have had a slightly slower start compared to last year’s bumper performance, reflecting the cyclical nature of fleet operator investment, but remain strong. Global supply shortages and economic headwinds remain a challenge, however, and the sector’s switch to zero emission vehicles must become mainstream. More electrified models are coming onto the market this year but we need the chargepoint rollout to accelerate, giving more operators greater confidence to transition to the latest electric vans.”