The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market recorded its fourth straight month of growth with 22,665 new units registered in April, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Registrations in the month grew by 4.9%, regaining ground on pre-pandemic levels. In the year to date, 109,937 new LCVs have been registered, just -13.7% off 2019, down from -15.1% last month.
LCV Market Trending Upwards in 2023
The largest volume growth was recorded for vans weighing greater than 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes, which more than doubled to reach 4,318 registrations. The 4×4 segment also grew, by 370.5%, to leapfrog ahead of vans weighing up to and including 2.0 tonnes, which became the smallest sector as registrations fell -48.2% to 428 units. Deliveries of pickups also declined, by -7.6%, while vans weighing greater than 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes fell by -6.2% – although at 15,205 units this remained the largest market segment with a 67.1% market share, reflecting the general trend towards larger vehicles.
The market’s transition towards zero emission vehicles also received a boost with a 62.6% increase in battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake – an uplift to 1,494 units and a market share of 6.6%. However, with BEV registrations in the year to date broadly in line with overall market growth at 14.8%, BEV market share for 2023 remains static at 5.4%.
Easing supply chain disruption means that, while the economic situation remains challenging, the overall market outlook for the year has been revised upwards from January. The industry anticipates 326,000 new LCV registrations by the end of the year, a 15.4% increase on 2022 and a 1.4% increase on January’s outlook.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Four months of growth signals recovery is in sight for the van market, with easing supply chain issues raising confidence and boosting the overall market outlook. Ongoing economic uncertainty, however, must be addressed to help sustain and expand EV uptake.”