UK truck and van sales bounce back in 2011

London, UK: The latest new van and truck sales figures show month on month sales were up 13.7% compared to December 2010 and up 17.8% on the rolling year.

Overall truck registrations were up 45.3% in comparison to December last year, while overall van registrations were up 7.8% on December last year according to data from the Society of Motor and Manufacturers and Traders.

“In a year when the economy seems to have stalled, truck and van sales have bucked the trend with the highest number of van registrations for three years and improved heavy truck sales” said Sue Robinson, director of the RMI National Franchised Dealers Association, which represents UK commercial vehicle and franchised car retailers.

“With more and more consumers’ choosing to buy goods over the Internet, the need for small delivery vans has increased.  Supermarkets have also doubled their fleet size to accommodate the growth in Internet shopping,” Robinson said.

“The introduction of the London LEZ zone which enforces punitive fees on older vans operating inside the M25, has led to many people up-grading their vans.

“The growth in the truck market only returned in 2011, after an 18 month decline.  Many of the new trucks bought this year were delayed purchases’ as operators assessed their future needs.  Some truck manufacturers have also instigated various marketing campaigns’, offering a package cost which covers the truck lease and its repair and maintenance for a set time.  This has looked to be good value against the increasing used truck prices, brought about by higher demand for newer used trucks that meet LEZ requirements,” Robinson said.

“Earlier in the year there were vast increases in the sales of 44 tonne GVW tractor units with supermarkets the biggest buyer, even in a cautious economy the general public continue to buy food in the same quantities, albeit at lower prices.  Later this year, with strong words and intentions from the Government in new capital projects, the construction and road building industries have started replacing their vehicles with heavy weight multi-axle rigid vehicles, hence the year-to-date improvement of 27.7% with 65.1% in December for this sector,” Robinson said.

Robinson said: “despite the good news dealers are cautious, and aware that 2012 will be a challenging year for their businesses.”

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