SMMT: Market for Vans Shows Strongest Performance in First Semester Since 2021 Despite Decrease in June

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By Car Brand Experts


New LCV regs summary June 24 01 scaled
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June saw a -4.5% decline in the UK’s new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market, with 33,066 units sold. This marks the end of a record-equalling 17-month growth streak, as reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today.1 Even with this downturn, the market has maintained its strength in the first six months of the year, showing a 4.5% increase with 177,620 new vans, pickups, and 4x4s registered in 2024, the most impressive performance since 2021.2

The drop in June’s figures is somewhat inflated compared to 2023, which had an exceptional June performance due to pent-up demand following the effects of Covid.3

Van June 2024 overview month YTD 01
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Demand varied among different categories, showing a 14.0% increase in registrations for vans weighing between 2.0 to 2.5 tonnes, and a notable 58.7% rise for those weighing 2.0 tonnes or less. Conversely, vehicles weighing above 2.5 tonnes up to 3.5 tonnes, which constitute the majority of the market, experienced an -8.3% decline, totaling 21,677 units. Pick-up and 4×4 registrations also saw declines of -18.1% and -20.3%, respectively.

June Fuel 2024 and YTD LCV 01
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Deliveries of battery electric vans (BEVs) decreased for the third consecutive month, down -16.8% compared to June last year, with 1,476 units sold.4 Consequently, BEVs represented only 4.7% of all new light van registrations in the year so far, down from 5.2% in the same period last year. With a mandatory minimum requirement of 10% of new van registrations to be zero-emission vehicles this year, the decreasing market share calls for attention.

LCV regs rolling year totals June 2018 to date 2024
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Manufacturers are actively working on introducing more zero-emission models to the roads of Britain through new product launches and appealing incentives to stimulate demand across all driver segments. However, all stakeholders must contribute collaboratively to facilitate the necessary transition in the market.

Van top models June 24
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According to Mike Hawes, SMMT’s Chief Executive:

Having the best performance in a first half of the year since 2021 is positive news for a sector crucial to economic expansion. Sustaining this positivity will require efforts to boost demand for zero-emission vans. With a new government in place, there is a chance to enhance the market by implementing a strategy to expand the UK’s van-specific charging infrastructure rapidly and maintaining vital financial incentives to keep this important market segment on track. Failing which, our ambitions for achieving net zero will be jeopardized.

Van registrations 3 5T year to date registrations and split Jun 24
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1 Previous 17-month sustained growth also occurred from Feb 2010 to June 2011
2 LCV registrations, Jan-Jun 2021: 191,513 units
3 LCV registrations, June 2023: 34,630 units
4 BEV registrations, June 2023: 1,775 units

SOURCE: SMMT

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