April 29, 2017
February saw a drop in demand for new vans as buyers wait for the new 17-plate models, which are now available to buy.
Statistics published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today reveal a dip in registrations of new vans of 4.3 percent compared with February 2016. Over 13,000 registrations were made last month.
The decline comes after a record breaking 2016 for sales of new vans – over 375,000 were registered – and humble growth of 1.2 percent in January.
The trends of recent months all but disappeared as sales of large vans dropped 1.3 percent, medium vans enjoyed an increase of 9 percent while new pickup registrations remained exactly the same as the previous year, with 1,350 units registered. The large van segment remains the most popular, however, with a 65.8 percent market share.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “February is typically a quiet month as buyers look ahead to the March plate change and, following the rapidly growing levels of demand we’ve seen over the past two year, a decline is not unexpected. The sector remains in good health and, barring any shocks to business confidence, we expect demand to remain strong over the coming months.”
The top 10 best-sellers chart does see some significant changes, however. While the top two remain the same (Ford Transit Custom followed by the Ford Transit), the Mercedes Sprinter races to third place – a jump of 7 places on its January performance. The Sprinter is the only van in the top ten to have enjoyed an increase in sales in February, of 83 units.
Other non-movers include the Vauxhall Vivaro and Volkswagen Transporter in fourth and fifth place respectively. The Ford Transit Connect failed to keep the momentum built in January with registrations virtually halving in February. It drops from third to sixth place as a result.
A couple of new entries see the Peugeot Partner (seventh) and Renault Trafic (eighth) break into the top ten, as the Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara pickups both dropped out after a strong performance in January. The top ten is rounded off by the Citroen Berlingo in ninth (a three-place drop) and Peugeot Boxer in tenth, sliding a place.
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