UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations returned to growth in December, following three months of decline, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The market grew +7.8% in December as the impact of regulatory changes eased and attractive offers on new models helped stimulate orders with only pickups experiencing a fall in demand.
LCV Market Sees 7.8% Growth in December
December rounded off a solid annual performance for LCVs, with full year registrations up +2.4% as 365,778 new models hit UK roads. This was the third highest total on record, with growth coming despite political and economic uncertainty for much of the year, and reflecting buyers keen to switch to the latest low emission models to comply with clean air zone requirements and meet demand brought about by the rise of online shopping and corresponding deliveries.
All van segments saw growth during 2019, with small vans weighing less than 2.0 tonnes up +4.4%, medium vans weighing 2.0-2.5 tonnes up +10.5% and larger vans weighing 2.5-3.5 tonnes up +1.2%. Demand for new pickups and 4x4s, however, fell, down -1.0% and -9.7% respectively but the combined loss represented just 733 units.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, "A healthy van market is good news for the industry, environment and exchequer and so the rise in 2019 registrations is very welcome. As we enter a new decade, however, we need this upward trend to continue if we are to address environmental concerns."