Ensuring a safe and robust restart to LCV market

07 May 2020 #Uncategorised

If we needed reminding about the challenging times we face, then April’s light commercial vehicle (LCV) registration figures should do it. The UK new LCV market declined -86.2% in April as nearly all registrations stopped due to coronavirus lockdowns: just 3,387 LCVs joined UK roads in April, 21,217 fewer than in the same month last year. Most of the vehicles delivered went to operators using them for essential services, including fleets for the NHS, emergency services, pharmaceutical and food distribution.

We expect an overall LCV market decline of -28.0% for 2020, equivalent to a market of 263,000 units by the end of the year. Registrations are expected to recover in 2021, however, we still see a -6.1% decline on 2019, which was a particularly healthy year.

While we are not surprised by these figures, they are still shocking. Restoring business confidence and delivering the safe restart of retail operations will be key to kick-starting demand. Getting this important market moving again will be critical to the wider automotive sector’s recovery and provide a boost to the UK economy as we begin emerge from this crisis.

One of the key elements for reopening is having robust safe working practices in place. SMMT has been working with a range of stakeholders and members to build a suite of specific industry Guidelines to cover the automotive sector across retail, manufacturing and aftermarket. These will now be available in the coming weeks.

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