December 06, 2016

New van sales remain strong despite October slump

new vans

New van sales dipped this past month, with demand dropping 4.5 percent when compared with the same period in 2015.

In October, almost 27,000 new vans were registered. Over half of all new van registrations can be attributed to the large vans segment (2.5-3.5-tonnes), with 16,511 new large vans registered in October. This actually represents a drop of 7.1 percent and, as the largest market sector, indicates the main reason for October’s results.

In contrast, sales of medium vans grew by almost 20 percent to 4571, way up from 2015’s 3822 units. The poor performance of small vans continued with a 17.4 percent drop in demand, year-on-year. The pickup sector maintained its excellent performance as demand jumped 17.8 percent in October.

New van sales

The market as a whole continues apace, and despite the recent drop in demand for some sectors, 2016 has seen 318,664 new vans registered – a 2 percent increase on the first ten months of last year – remaining on course for a record-breaking 12 months.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Following the sector’s very strong performance in 2015, a levelling off in demand was expected, so this month’s decline comes as no surprise. Overall, the market remains robust, with the number of van registrations in the first 10 months of 2016 outperforming any other year on record. Maintaining business confidence for LCV operators will be critical to this sector’s future performance.”

For the manufacturers, little has changed. Ford remains the king of new van sales, shifting almost twice as many new vans as its nearest competitor, Volkswagen. In fact, if you combine the sales of both VW and third-placed Peugeot you’d still be almost 1000 new vans short of Ford’s total.

Ford’s monopoly on first position in the sales chart shows no sign of stopping. But what about the rest? Vauxhall had a poor month, dropping out of the top five. Despite this, they retained their third-place position in the year-to-date sales table. Mercedes were the main beneficiaries, leaping to fourth in October’s table. Renault make up the top five positions.

Looking at the year-to-date, the only change is that Citroen have dropped out – losing ground to Mercedes who now sit fifth with over 25,000 new van registrations in 2016.

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