Figures recently released by the Society of Motors, Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) show that the new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market saw a slight decline in October.
The figures read that 24,968 new LCV’s were introduced on to British roads in October, which was a 7.4% decrease compared with the same month in 2016.
Demand for smaller vans were down 20.2%, with vehicles weighing 2.0-2.5t down 14.6% and large vans also being down 5.2% shows how the sector is fluctuating with uncertain times ahead. But it has been hard for some companies to predict what will happen during the country’s transition period away from the E.U, meaning some are not willing to invest as much as usual. Although demand for pick-ups remained reasonably the same with a slight growth of 0.5%.
Overall year-to-date figures saw a decline of -3.5% on 2016, with 307,647 registrations. Although the van market remains at a very high level, a recent decline in business confidence caused by on-going political and economic uncertainty has resulted in further declines in the market, causing SMMT to revise its new van forecast for 2017. The market is now expected to decline by 2.8% on 2016 levels.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Following the recent revision to the new van forecast, this month’s decline is not unexpected.
“While the market remains at a very high level, the recent decline in business confidence, caused by economic and political uncertainty, is now having an impact on van registrations. Government must therefore address these concerns and create the conditions necessary for the market to prosper.”
Richard Tilden, head of commercial vehicles at Lex Autolease said that the drop in demand is unsurprising considering October is traditionally a fairly quiet month.
However, he added: “We’re still seeing a good level of enquiries, on a par with last year, so there’s still potential for the market to recover slightly at the end of the year.”