Despite the new car market still being on the slide, van dealers have rather more reasons to be cheerful. Last month saw a 7.8% jump in sales for the van market, crowning an excellent twelve months in which the sector grew almost 17%.
According to the latest figures from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) a huge 260,153 vans were registered during the year and December contributed 18,415 to the total. Despite the good year no one involved in the commercial van sector is being complacent. They want the Coalition Government to deliver its growth strategy which will help both strengthen business and consumer confidence. Research for the whole of 2011 also shows that companies who have upgraded their vans are also looking for cheaper van insurance to try and save some money while at the same time making sure their commercial vans have good protection in the event of an accident.
SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt said: “2011 was a year of consistent growth in the market. Renewed business confidence fuelled the month-on-month rises, while innovative developments in vehicle design and technologies provided solid business reasons for companies to upgrade their vehicles in 2011.”
Vauxhall topped the monthly sales charts in January, March, April, July, September and October and by the end of December they had earned themselves a record 16% market share. While Ford’s Transit remained the best-selling commercial van, as it has since they launched the first version in 1965, Vauxhall Commercial Vehicles topped the sales chart for the first time. The 12,000 vans sold by the Luton based manufacturer was up a huge 29% on the previous year. Sales of its Vivaro van alone climbed a massive 58%. It was not all good news though as the number of the smallest sub 2-litre vans dropped of 4%, while the pickup sector also dropped by 2.5%.