New van sales up 14.1% in October 2018 but remain ‘turbulent’

The SMMT says variations in business confidence has had a big effect on the commercial vehicle van sector in 2018

2018 Ford Transit CustomNew car registrations may have fallen year-on-year in October 2018, but things are more positive for the British van sector, which experienced a 14.1 percent sales boost last month.

It was sales of larger, pricier vans in the 2.5-3.5-tonne category that drove the improvement, with growth of 27.6 percent. More than 7 in 10 new vans in Britain are from this large van sector.

In contrast, says the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT), small and medium-sized vans both declined, by 24.9 percent and 14.8 percent respectively.

Sales of pickups grew by a modest 3.2 percent, but new launches in the commercial 4×4 van sector caused registrations to skyrocket, from 20 last year to 137 this year – that’s 585 percent growth.

Overall, more than 28,000 new vans were registered last month, adding to a year-to-date total of 302.741. This is down slightly on 2017, with a drop of 1.6 percent, but it’s in line with SMMT predictions.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “While it is positive to see a boost for new vans in October, the growth comes on the back of a turbulent 10 months, with ongoing fluctuations in demand.

“Although the sector remains strong, we expect this trend to play out over the remainder of the year, as ongoing political uncertainty affects business confidence and hence operator investment.”

Top 10 best-selling vans – October 2018

  1. Ford Transit Custom
  2. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  3. Ford Transit
  4. Vauxhall Vivaro
  5. Volkswagen Transporter
  6. Ford Transit Connect
  7. Ford Ranger
  8. Peugeot Boxer
  9. Citroen Berlingo
  10. Renault Trafic

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Richard Aucock
I'm director at Motoring Research. I run a bit, cycle a bit, have a huge love for the automotive industry.


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