May 05, 2017
New van registrations showed an expected decrease in demand from March for new vans, with the effect of the new registration plates in March clear to see. New van figures also showed a noticeable decrease in demand from the record breaking April 2016.
Statistics published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have today revealed a marked decrease from March 2017, but also a significant decrease of from April 2016. 22,625 registrations were made last month, this is an 18.8 percent decrease from the new van registrations figure of 27,880 in April 2016.
The significant decrease in April follows a small decrease in registrations in March in comparison with 2016. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive remained bullish about the LCV market and believes this decline was to be expected:
“April is traditionally a small month for new LCV registrations following the plate-change in March and, coming on the back of double-digit growth that resulted in a record April in 2017, this month’s decline comes as no surprise. Overall, the market remains robust, however, and so long as business confidence among operators can be maintained, we expect to see the market remain at what is a historically high level over the course of the year.”
The biggest casualty in April in comparison to last year’s figures were the small vans, with a decline of 37.5%. Sales of large vans also suffered a significant fall, showing a decrease of 23.1% on April 2016, not consolidating the increase of 3.6% shown in March 2017. Sales of medium vans remained relatively stable, suffering a slight decrease of 0.2%. The big winners of April 2017 so to speak were the pick-ups, continuing on from an impressive increase in sales in March of 23%, with an increase last month of 4.5% and 3851 units registered.
LCV registrations on this year to date have fallen 4.9 percent overall, however demand for vans continues at a high level.
The top 10 best-seller chart does see some changes, however the top selling van, the new Ford Transit Custom remains as the most popular, selling 2,582 units. Ford actually had the top two selling vans in April 2017, with the Ford Transit replacing the Volkswagen transporter in second place in the table. The Mercedes Sprinter remained in fourth, while the Renault Trafic dropped five places to take tenth in the table. As a result of this fall from the Renault, the Vauxhall Vivaro rose one place to fifth in the table.
The Peugeot Partner was a new inclusion into the top ten, taking sixth place in the table with an impressive 1,101 units sold. The Nissan Navara and Ford Transit Connect swapped places in seventh and eighth respectively, the Nissan outlining another impressive month for pick-ups. In ninth another entry from Peugeot remained unmoved, with the consistent Peugeot Boxer selling 985 new van units. Dropping out of the top ten was the Mitsubishi L200, however with pick-up sales continually on the increase, we expect the Mitsubishi to come back fighting in May 2017.