April 27, 2017

Sales of new vans soar as new emissions tests apply in 2017

electric vans

New vans sales continue to grow

Sales of new vans hit record levels in the first six months of 2016, according to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The first half of the year has seen a 3% rise in sales of new vans, with almost 200,000 units sold in 2016 to date. In June, new van sales rose 2.7% year-on-year to 36,700 with registrations of large vans dominating the market.

“It’s been an encouraging first half for the new LCV sector,” said Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, SMMT. “The market remains strong with all the signs pointing towards a healthy performance in 2016. Maintaining economic certainty for van operators will be key to the sector’s ongoing success.”

Meanwhile, the pick-up sector also continues to go from strength to strength as sales rose by 17.3% last month. Year-on-year sales follow suit with an increase of 10.9% over the first six months of the year.

Among the manufacturers, Renault enjoyed a resurgence in June as sales increased by a staggering 48% (3388 units sold) helping them finish as the fourth best-selling brand. Ford remain at the top of the table with a rise in sales of 11% (10686 units sold).

New emissions tests to be implemented

The EU Commission has tightened its pollutant monitoring procedures following the Volkswagen ‘defeat device’ scandal last year.

As a result, manufacturers will need to adapt to strict new emissions tests. The EU Commission has decided that the current procedure, ‘New European Driving Cycle’ (NEDC) – which is now over 45 years old – is outdated. They say that the gap between test results and real-world driving is too big.

From September 1 2017, the NEDC will be replaced by the new ‘Worldwide Harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) for all new vehicles.

The test consists of actions such as acceleration, braking and idle running and is less flexible than the NEDC. This new test eliminates a loophole that allowed vehicle manufacturers to optimise their vehicles prior to the test.

In addition to the new WLTP test, an ‘on-the-road’ Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test is being launched which will enable authorities to perform stop-check emissions tests on vehicles.

Vehicles that obtain an NEDC certificate before September 1 2017 can be sold until September 1 2018.