Van registrations accelerate for first time in 2012

VAN registrations increased 6.7% last month to 21,303 units marking a return to growth for the first time in 2012, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.


In the first five months of 2012 van registrations total 97,499, 11.7% down on the first five months of last year (110,388).


SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: ‘It’s too early to know if the change in fortunes for the van market is a sign of things to come, but coupled with the strong truck performance [up 31.5% in May and 28.2% this year], it is a welcome signal of increased confidence across the commercial vehicle sector.’


The focus of growth was vans up to two tonnes, with total registrations up 11.6% to 3,718 on last May (3,331), but still 21.9% down over the five months at 16,624 (2011: 21,294). The sector typically comprises less than 20% of all van registrations.


Registrations of 2-2.5 tonne vans increased marginally (0.7%) to 2,867 (May 2011: 2,847), but year-to-date volumes remain down 2.3% at 13,124 (2011: 13,438).


Sales of vans in the 2.5-3.5 tonne sector increased 9.1% last month to 12,387 (May 2011: 11,359), but 2012 volume is 8.7% down at 55,460 (2011: 60,728).


Demand for 4×4 LCVs rose 10.6% last month with 490 units registered (May 2011: 443) to leave 2012 volumes up 4.3% at 2,975 (2011: 2,853).


The only van sector to see a sales fall last month was pick-ups with registrations down 7.3% at 1,841 (May 2011: 1,986). It means registrations this year are 22.8% down at 9,316 (2011: 12,075).


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