Following their surge in November, van registrations rose by 13.1% in the UK last year, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The new figures show that 271,073 new vans were registered in the UK last year, including 20,949 in December, which represents a 32.5% increase over December 2012.
UK van and truck registrations: 2013 and % change on 2012
|December||% change||Year-to-date||% change||Rolling year||% change|
Data courtesy of SMMT (www.smmt.co.uk)
The biggest sector of the UK van market by far is the 2.5 – 3.5t sector, which accounted for 153,428 of the 271,073 vans registered in the UK last year, and 11% increase in registrations compared to the previous year. However, the sector that saw the largest growth was the next one down in size — there was a 27.7% increase in 2.0 – 2.5t van registrations in 2013, taking the total number registered to 39,613.
Commenting on the figures Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, believes that there may be more good news to come in 2014:
“The 2013 commercial vehicle market rose 14.7%, making it the best performance in the last five years … van owners and operators responded positively to the wider economic recovery finishing the year more than 13% up on 2012.
The introduction of new Euro 6 trucks will be of key interest to the heavy end of the market in 2014, while we expect the forthcoming launches of several new light commercial vans to deliver further growth in this important sector.”
One of the new vans referred to by Hawes in his comments is the all-new two-tonne Ford Transit, which is now available to order and is due to go on sale later this year.
The new Transit will, for the first time in many years, give Ford a large van with which to directly challenge the dominant Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, as well as other large models such as the Citroen Relay, Fiat Ducato and Volkswagen Crafter.
It’s easy to see why Ford has adopted the new format, as the 2.5t – 3.5t sector accounts for 55% of the vans sold in the UK, and the new model will also be suitable for sale in the US and Canada, in-line with Ford’s global vision.
However, it will be interesting to see how many tradesmen and small businesses miss the old jack-of-all-trades Transit format — Ford sold 47,507 of the 2007-13 Transit in 2013, giving the legacy model a 29% share of the overall UK market for one- and two-tonne vans.
The Transit Custom and forthcoming new Transit will have a lot to live up to.