Iveco are an Italian van and truck manufacturer and during 2012 the managed to keep their share of the 3.5 tonne UK van market at a constant 5.7 per cent. This is the same percentage as in 2011 even though the market as a whole was down 1 per cent year on year. The strange thing about Iveco is that it doesn’t compete in a market below 3.5 tonnes and because of this it wasn’t affected by the slight drop in sales of the lighter weight vans.
Marta Nappo, marketing director at Iveco believes that there are many reasons that there was market stability at 3.5 tonnes and she expressed these views at the annual State of the Nation press event, “The demand for vans is being driven more and more by the way we’re buying things. By that, I mean the growth in the level of e-commerce and online retailing. In 2012, online sales are expected to have reached some £60 billion; that’s 13.2 per cent of all retail sales and an increase of 14 per cent on 2011.
The High Street
“The reality of this is the growing volumes of good needing to be delivered to high streets and home addresses up and down the country. For that, operators are increasingly turning to vans; and the 3.5 tonner in particular. They are cheaper and simpler to operate than trucks. You don’t need a specialist drive, there’s none of the challenges of operating a truck and you can run 3.5 tonners around the clock with almost no restrictions.”
She also commented at the end of her speak saying, “Fleets returned to the sector in 2012, and in particular the rental fleets. They’re big buyers of 3.5 tonne vans, so they have a huge influence on the total size of the market. They’re big buyers of our Iveco Daily too, and that helped us to maintain our share of this all-important sector at 5.7 per cent.”
Overall, this means that the serious effects of what is happening with the high street declining are having a huge impact on the commercial vehicle world and for the better. The result of online shopping has meant less physical shops and more vans to transport the goods. This is great news for those who run a fleet within the retail market and who knows, all this potential extra business could help with paying that all important commercial vehicle insurance!