December CV market soars to give a 12 year high
- December commercial vehicle registrations rose by 23.3 per cent.
- Full year figures rose by 5.2 per cent to 313,411 units, well above expectations.
‘2001 has been an exceptional year for new vehicle registrations,’ said SMMT
chief executive Christopher Macgowan. ‘The highest ever December total pushed
the full year figures in 2001 to 313,411 units – the biggest annual total since
the record in 1989 and the third highest annual registrations ever.
‘The result is very encouraging, coming despite current economic uncertainties.
In the commercial vehicle market as a whole, demand for heavy vans has been
the strongest, complemented by better than expected demand for trucks.’
Heavy van registrations still growing strongly
- Total LCV registrations rose 29.0 per cent in December.
- Heavy vans once again led growth in the LCV sector, but demand for 4×4 utilities
and light vans also improved.
- LCV demand in 2001 rose by 6.1 per cent on the 2000 level, an increase of
Light commercial vehicles boost overall CV market to third highest total
The LCV market rose by 6.1 per cent in 2001 to its highest since the 1989 peak.
The growth follows increases in every month bar July and reflects improved demand
for home deliveries and intense competition in the hotly contested medium and
heavy van sector. The increase in the LCV market has accounted for almost 95
per cent of the overall CV market growth in 2001. LCVs now account for 81 per
cent of total CV registrations.
Vans between 1,800 and 3,500 kgs have seen a massive surge in demand during
2001 and December proved no exception, with an impressive 40 per cent hike.
This boosted registrations for the full year by 8.8 per cent. A wave of new
models and increased demand for home delivery services helped to spur growth.
Demand for smaller vans also grew improved in 2001. Although there was an overall
drop in 4×4 utility demand in 2001, demand strengthened in the second half of
2001 truck registrations up again, buses and coaches drop
Truck demand hits highest level since 1989
A 2.6 per cent rise in total truck registrations in December capped a good
year for truck demand. The 2001 market rose by 2.6 per cent over the 2000 level
to 55,573 units – its best performance since 1989. Since the collapse of the
market in the early 1990s, when registrations fell to a low of 31,398 in 1992,
demand has grown, hovering just above the 50,000-mark in recent years.
Last year’s 1 October deadline to register Euro 1 trucks distorted some registration
patterns in the second half of the year. New trucks registered in the UK since
1 October must meet Euro 3 emission standards.
Truck demand generally mirrored UK economic trends. Fears that the economic
slowdown, especially in the manufacturing sector, might knock demand proved
Growth has been strongest in 2001 in the lighter end of the two axle rigid
market, although demand for heavy trucks also picked up. December registration
market performance was broadly in line with the overall market in 2001.
Registrations of two axle rigids under 7.4 tonnes rose by 31.1 per cent in
2001. Many of the vehicles in this still small, but growing, sector are factory-built
panel vans converted for other use, for instance as minibuses or ambulances.
Total two axle rigid registrations rose by a more modest 4.1 per cent. Three
axle rigid demand did improve, but four axle rigid registrations showed a very
impressive 17.7 per cent rise. Artic demand just failed to match last year’s
Bus and coach registrations rise again, but well down for year as a whole
Bus and coach registrations fell by 14.1 per cent in 2001, to their lowest
level since 1996. A lack of investment has seen a sharp drop in new registrations
of these vehicles, though the registrations did recover a little towards the
end of the year, albeit from a weak base. Registrations in December rose a modest
4.8 per cent – the second successive month of growth and fourth increase in
final five months of 2001.