October van registrations are worst since 2012

Registrations of new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) were down 18.4% in October, recording the worst performance for the month since 2012.

A total of 22,366 vehicles were registered in the month, as supply shortages continue to restrict global production and availability. The performance places October 16.5% behind the pre-pandemic five-year average.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK’s van market continues to be shackled by supply shortages amid difficult operating conditions, which will likely continue into 2023, easing over the course of the year. Demand for zero emission vans remains robust despite these challenges, but a successful net zero transition will require measures targeted at long-term operator confidence.”

Deliveries of the most popular large vans weighing more than 2.5 tonnes declined by 7.6%, while registrations of mid-weight vehicles weighing up to 2.5 tonnes fell by 50.7% and those weighing 2.0 tonnes or under by 80.7%.

There was growth in registrations of pick-ups for the first month this year and 4x4s for the second month in a row.

Battery electric van (BEV) deliveries continued to increase, rising 52.5% year-on-year in October to represent 7.6% of the market – up from 4.1% in the same month last year.

The overall market has declined in the year to date, however, down 19.9% to 235,962 units – some 24.1% below the pre-pandemic five-year average. This has led to a downgraded outlook for full year 2022, to 290,000 units, down 18.5% on 2021 and 20.8% lower than 2019. While the LCV market is expected to rally in 2023 to 330,000 units, and up to 351,000 units during 2024, these totals would still be below pre-pandemic levels.

Ford shifted the largest number of LCVs in October, with its Transit Custom (pictured) leading the registrations league table, closely followed by the Transit.

The Vivaro Electric remains the UK’s best-selling electric van with 3,254 sold in the first ten months of the year. The success of this model has helped Vauxhall remain the country’s best-selling e-LCV manufacturer so far this year, as well as being the second biggest-selling LCV manufacturer overall.

James Taylor, managing director at Vauxhall, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Vivaro Electric continue its strong sales performance this year, helping us maintain our position as the UK’s best-selling e-LCV manufacturer. As one of the few brands in the country that is able to offer fleets a fully electric van across its entire LCV model line-up, Vauxhall is leading the way towards electrifying Britain’s businesses.”

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