2016 First Half Report: New van market dominated by heavy vans whilst UK CV production relies upon EU relations

16 August 2016, 10:53 am

Continuing its steady growth, the new van market has achieved record performance for the first six months of 2016.

Official figures from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders), show commercial vehicle sales totalling 191,996 units, up 3% from the same six month period in 2015.

Following a strong performance in June – the fifth consecutive month of growth, the new van market is driven by continued demand for heavier vehicles, which currently account for more than 60% of the market.

The 2.5-3.5 tonne market was up by 17.3% in June compared to the same time last year, with an overall increase of 12.7% in the year to date.

Pick-ups also continue to do well with registrations in June up by 11.3%, while demand for smaller vans falls by almost 20%.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, SMMT: “It’s been an encouraging first half for the new LCV sector and, while growth may be slower than the record levels seen last year, 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.”

Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders Logo

Meanwhile, UK CV manufacturing is steady in the first half, with a slight drop of 2% in comparison with 2015. With more UK CVs built for export than for the home market, this highlights the importance of the UK/EU relationship.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive: “Disruption to fleet renewal patterns triggered by type approval changes last year meant manufacturing output spiked by more than half in June 2015.1 As a result, this year’s June performance was always going to be negative so the drop is no surprise. The market remains at a high level, buoyed by continuing resurgence in key EU markets, with more than half of UK CV output sold overseas. Maintaining the competitive trading conditions currently afforded by EU membership, including free access to major international markets, will be critical to this sector’s future performance.”