CV Sector

Britain’s new LCV market grows for the first time this year

06 October 2022 #CV Sector

The latest figures from SMMT show that Britain’s new LCV market grew for the first time this year in September, one of the busiest months for deliveries due to the plate change.

Van registrations increased 10.8% year on year, at 34,950 units, largely driven by deliveries of medium and large vans, up 40.8% and 13.9% respectively – with those weighing above 2.5 tonnes accounting for some 73.8% of the market.

This is welcome news, reflecting the efforts of OEMs that are working extremely hard to fulfil strong order books, against supply disruptions that continue to restrict model availability.

However, the growth should not be overstated, as it is in comparison with a low base in September 2021 – the worst performance for the month since the 2009 recession – with this September still some -35.5% below the five-year pre-pandemic average, but the challenges being faced at present should be underestimated.

Indeed, there is a long way to go before we achieve a full market recovery from the supply chain crisis stoked by the pandemic, while inflation and energy prices are raising the cost of business and hitting consumer confidence, but progress is still being made.

For example, uptake of the latest battery electric vans continues its upward trend, rising some 70.0% last month. In the year to date, BEV volumes have increased by 52.9%.

This is testament to the considerable positives of zero emission vehicles, with more operators enjoying purchase incentives, lower taxation and exemptions from clean air zone and congestion charges, and operators are urged to put their orders in early so that they can receive the benefits available.

The UK is yet to reach the levels of adoption required to meet its ambitious net zero targets, however, and many operators are understandably looking to make cost savings amid the significant wider economic challenges they are facing.

It is therefore vital that we see long-term measures that address the UK’s rising cost of business and economic stagnation, in turn helping to boost operator confidence – an absolute must if we are to stimulate fleet renewal and meet our green goals.

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