September market booms, with vans leading growth
- September registrations were up 15.7 per cent to their highest monthly
total since August 1989, the third highest month on record.
- This strong performance boosted the year-to-date figure to 239,686 units
– a 4.1 per cent rise over the same period last year.
‘September is close to an all-time record for CV registrations,’ said Christopher
Macgowan, chief executive at the SMMT. ‘Once again, van registrations were very
good, particularly for the heavier models. The increase in heavier truck models
is very welcome, as trucks are a good barometer of the nation’s economic health.
And September’s truck registrations suggest the underlying economy is still
The growth set in the September market, at almost 16 per cent, is by far the
strongest monthly increase in demand this year, reflecting the strength of domestic
demand. Despite the heightened mood of downside risks to economic and market
growth in the final quarter, 2001 is likely to see total new CV registrations
firmly up on last year’s total of 298,043.
September van registrations soar
- LCV registrations rose 14.5 per cent in September, the extra 4,695 units
relative to last September giving most of the overall market’s growth.
- Heavy vans again gave most of the improvement in the LCV sector.
- LCV demand over the year to date was up 4.6 per cent.
Light commercial vehicle registrations lead growth in total CV demand
LCV registrations grew strongly for the year to June but slowed in July. They
grew again in August and September’s figures show a very firm return to strong
Total LCV registrations rose by 14.5 per cent in September. Their share of
all CV registrations for the month at 80.6 per cent was down from 81.4 per cent
at the same month last year. The heavier vans in the 2.6-3.5 tonnes weight category
were again the focus of the growth momentum in overall LCV demand, with an extra
5,228 vans, a growth rate of 33.7 per cent compared with September 2000 volumes.
For the year to September, all LCV registrations are up by 4.6 per cent, year
on year with the heavier vans (2.6-3.5 tonnes) showing a growth of 16.8 per
cent over the same period.
Total truck registrations rise again
Truck registrations rose by 21 per cent in September and 3.9 per cent for the
first nine months of the year. September registrations were partly driven up
by the need to register Euro 2 specification trucks before the end of the month,
as all new registrations from 1 October will have to be to Euro 3 specifications.
However, underlying demand still looks reasonably good.
As a group, rigid registrations were up by a very impressive 30.4 per cent
for the month, with all weight categories recording year on year increases for
the month. For the first nine months of the year a healthy 7.9 per cent growth
was also set.
Monthly growth in artic registrations has been erratic for much of the year.
But following on from a 16.4 per cent increase in August, registrations for
September were again up by 9 per cent compared to the same time last year. This
helped cut the growth deficit for the nine months to date to minus 3.6 per cent
relative to the same period in 2000.
Bus and coach registrations recovering?
Bus and coach registrations rose in September, albeit against September 2000
registrations that showed a very sharp drop. This, alongside growth last month,
is a positive sign after the year-long fall that started in the summer of 2000
and suggests that the fall in demand may have bottomed-out. The SMMT expects
that recovery in bus and coach demand will be slow, but the last couple of months
have shown some encouraging signs at last.
September registrations have shown good new across all sectors of the UK commercial
vehicle market. Light commercials still show most growth but heavy truck registrations
have bounced back. They are well up on earlier expectations, though this is
partly due to the need to register remaining Euro 2 models before 1 October.
The rush for heavy truck registrations, the strength of markets last year
and the slowdown in some sectors of the economy may mean a modest slowdown in
the final quarter. However, the strong base reported over the nine months of
this year should mean total CV registrations in 2001 beat last year’s level.