â€œLight commercial registrations under 3.5 tonnes were down -4.2% in January â€“ registering 20,475 vehicles in totalâ€, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association which represents commercial vehicle and franchised car retailers across the UK, commenting on the SMMTâ€™s light commercial vehicle registration figures.
More importantly, the 2.5 â€“ 3.5 tonne light commercial sector (fleet operational vehicles) recorded a modest decline of just -1.8%, only 225 fewer registrations than in January 2017. This particular sector is very much the barometer of the market, and represents some 62% of all light commercials sold last year. The vehicles are typically sold to the industrial corporate fleet market, and used mainly for delivering packages that have been purchased online by consumers.
Light vans up to 2.0 tonnes declined significantly by almost -29%. This has been an on-going trend in this sector as many of these vans are used by tradesman, and now many of these smaller businesses are opting for mid-size 2.0-2.5 tonne vans which can carry substantially more in volume. This sector was up 1.2% in January.
Robinson continues, â€œOverall, most dealers are confident that the light commercial market will remain buoyant throughout in 2018. With the forthcoming introduction of the new Ford Transit Custom, and the newly introduced Mercedes X-range pick-up, plus further upgrades from other manufactures, there is plenty of new product lined up that will bolster salesâ€.