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LCV sales grow for 14th month as van market booms

March 5, 2024

The UK's appetite for new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) continues to surge, with February witnessing a 2.2% uptick to 17,934 units, marking an impressive 14 months of consecutive growth. Today's figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that this February's performance is the strongest since 1998, despite the month typically being slower due to procurement delays until March for the new numberplate.

Among the standout trends, registrations of vans weighing between 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes soared by 1.4%, representing nearly 70% of all new van sales as the preference for larger units persists. However, the small van categories witnessed declines, with small vans dropping by -20.5% and medium-sized vans seeing a -5.9% dip.

In a surprising turn, the niche 4x4 segment witnessed a remarkable 108.3% surge in registrations, while pickups, vital for rural and construction sectors, secured the third spot in commercial vehicle popularity, registering a 21.2% increase.

Fleet renewal, essential for decarbonisation, received a boost with the government's decision to scrap changes to double cab pick-up vehicle taxation, facilitating investments in newer, lower emission models. However, the sector advocates for a fairer and simpler approach to van taxation based on a vehicle's type approval.

While each manufacturer now faces mandates to achieve a minimum proportion of zero-emission registrations annually, February witnessed a slight decline in registrations of battery electric vans weighing up to 3.5 tonnes like the Ford E-Transit and Mercedes-Benz eSprinter. Maintaining incentives and expanding charging infrastructure, especially tailored for vans, will be pivotal in accelerating demand and achieving net zero targets swiftly.

In a resounding victory for Stellantis, latest figures from the SMMT reveal that almost a third of vans sold in the UK this year bear the badges of Stellantis brands. The automotive giant stands as the leading van manufacturer in 2024, with a 10% surge in volume, now boasting 32.45% of the market share year-to-date.

February saw Stellantis extend its dominance, topping the sales charts with a 7% spike, accounting for 32.91% of van sales. Vauxhall sold an impressive 4,376 units due in part to its noteworthy electric van presence.

Citroën Berlingo emerges as the nation's favorite small van, clinching both February and year-to-date top spots with 2,299 units sold. FIAT Professional also roars ahead with a remarkable 65% surge in February sales compared to last year.

Written by: thevanreviewer 

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