The light commercial vehicle market in the UK contracted in July, according to the figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The Association, which promotes the interests of the UK’s automotive industry at home and abroad, has revealed a fall of 5.9% in the registration of light commercial vehicles for the month; these vehicles, which comprise of all vans up to 3.5 tonnes in weight, went from 24,766 registered in July 2017 to 23,309 in July 2018.
This is a blow for the industry, after production of commercial vehicles grew in June. In terms of the picture for the year to date, there was also a fall in registration of light commercial vehicles, with 204,005 registered compared to 209,692 at the same time last year – a drop of 2.7%.
However, the SMMT say that the market still remains strong and for heavy commercial vehicles, there have been increases in registrations, both for the month and the year to date.
For the latter, 5,380 were registered up to the end of July – a rise of almost 30% from the 4,159 at the corresponding time of 2017.
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the SMMT, believes the demand for these vehicles still exists – reflecting the needs of various businesses – but also urged the government to address the “ongoing uncertainty.”
He said: “While variations in buying cycles are a natural feature of the light commercials sector and demand is still at high levels, the overall trend is one of decline.
“Ongoing uncertainty and low business confidence are undoubtedly having an effect; therefore government must address these concerns and create the conditions necessary for the market to prosper.”
The biggest increase in registration of light commercial vehicles came through 4x4s, which rose by a whopping 806%; pick-ups also fared well, enjoying a 13.9% increase.
However, these were offset by fall in demand for small, medium and large vans.