Van sales fall back in October

Commercial vehicle insurance providers will be disappointed to see that van registrations in October fell back once more after slight improvements in September.

A drop of 8.1% saw slightly less than 18,000 sales in October and the figures confirm that 2012 remains to be something of an anti climax after the brilliant recovery in 2011. In fact October’s figures mean that 245,960 vans have been sold this year and although it is a respectable figure compared to 2009, it is 3.6% down for the equivalent period in 2011 and suggests the 1% increase in sales in September was nothing but a blip in a bad year.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), who supplied the trade figures, said “SMMT recently updated its forecast for light van registrations, suggesting a 6.5 per cent drop in van volumes for 2012, a situation reflected by the weak October market that fell 8.1 per cent versus 2011.”

There were few winners in the Light Commercial Vehicles sector in October although 4×4 sales and pickup trucks showed better figures than the corresponding month in 2011. The main sellers, vans between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes were 10% down with smaller vans doing even worse and it is difficult now to see any improvements for the last couple of months in the year.

Despite the announcement of the closure of the Transit factory in Southampton, Ford continues to dominate the market with almost a third of the medium commercial sector (31.6%) and the irony will not be lost on those workers who lost their jobs at Swaythling, as the Transit is the main reason why Ford does so well in van sales.

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