UK LCV market sees August surge

New LCV registrations were up by a massive 41% year-on-year in the UK in August, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The organisation said the total of 23,120 LCVs registered made it the strongest month of growth since April 2013.

According to the SMMT, the leap in sales was helped by operators responding to regulatory changes, as well as ‘compelling deals’ being offered by sellers on the latest models.

The market segment seeing the biggest percentage increase was small vans weighing less than 2.0t, up by 52.5% to 1,768. Vans weighing 2.0t-2.5t were up by 33.1% to 2,852 registrations, while the 2.5t-3.5t segment – by far the market’s largest – was up by 46.8%, with 16,173 vans registered. The pick-up market was up by 13.3%, with 2,295 registered, while the extremely niche 4×4 segment was the only one to see a decline, down by 34.7% to just 32 registrations. For the year to date, the overall market is currently up by 11.3%, with 245,400 LCVs registered.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Another month of growth for the new van market is welcome news for the automotive sector as it faces multiple challenges simultaneously. “It is important to remember, however, that any percentage increase will be on a much smaller volume market in August given it is arguably the quietest month of the year. “Buyers continue to take advantage of deals on the latest and cleanest commercial vehicles on the market and it is important the business environment remains strong.”

In terms of individual model mix, August saw regular market leader the Ford Transit Custom dethroned as the UK’s bestselling van by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which had 3,104 examples registered compared with 3,074 for the Ford. The Ford Transit was third with 2,118 registrations, ahead of the Volkswagen Transporter with 1,560, and the Renault Trafic with 1,118.