New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal a contraction in registrations in the British light commercial vehicle (LCV) market for September.
According to the monthly data from the trade association, the number of vans registered up to 3.5 tonnes – which constitute LCVs – was just under 54,000 for September, which is more than 6% down from the same month last year.
Although the 53,858 registrations in the British light commercial vehicle market for September is outstripped by 57,368 from last year – a drop of 6.1% – the SMMT said the figure means September was the second busiest month of the year to date for registrations.
However, this follows a 5% rise recorded in August, which itself followed a decrease in July, suggesting a certain amount of fluctuation and uncertainty in the overall market.
And Mike Hawes, the Chief Executive of the SMMT, believes the latest registrations in the British light commercial vehicle market illustrate the ‘hesitancy’ and uncertainty; he has implored the government to produce economic conditions necessary to encourage growth and investment.
He said: “We have seen fluctuations in UK van registrations so far this year, but the overall downward trend shows that there is some hesitancy in the market.
“Businesses need certainty to invest and future growth now depends on government providing the right economic conditions to encourage operators to renew their fleets.”
Breaking down the registrations of LCVs further, pickups is the area where demand has grown, with an 8.8% increase recorded.
Elsewhere, small-sized vans suffered a fall in excess of 42%, while for medium-sized vans, the decline in registrations was less harsh, but at 14.4%, was still notable.
For the year to date, registrations stand at 274,247, which is 3% less than the 282,679 registered at the same time last year.
That being said, the SMMT say that the market remains at “historic high levels that have been maintained since August 2015.”