Van market sales flatter to deceive

Van sales executives have spent much of October looking enviously over their shoulders, as van sales have fallen by 8.1 per cent for the month, whilst car sales have seen another rise.

Hopes were briefly raised in September that poor sales trends for much of the year were set to change as figures rose by one percent on last year.

So far for the year, 245,960 vans have been registered, which is 3.6 per cent less than the equivalent period last year. Such is the extent of the lacklustre figures that the Society of Motor Manufacturers has had to revise its expectations for yearly van sales.

The van sales trend has been one of decline since October 2011, despite the sector having seen a steady rise since the end of 2009.

And the decline has not been limited to a particular vehicle group. All vans in the LCV sector have been affected, with vans between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes falling by 10.4 per cent to just 10,187 registrations. Vans weighing 2.0 and 2.5 tonnes have slid further still, down 14.1 per cent to 2,417 registrations, whilst sub 2.0-tonne vehicles, the smallest LCVs, fell by 11.5 per cent.

Despite the decline in sales across the board, Ford has managed to continue its dominance in the medium sized commercial vehicles sector, due in no small part to the success experienced by the Transit. This will no doubt provide workers in Southampton’s Transit plant with intense frustration given the recent announcement of the plant’s closure.

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