September 2016 sees continued growth in LCV market as Ford sets new record

  • Nearly 60,000 vans and pickups registered in September 2016
  • Nearly 20,000 Ford vans and pickups registered in same period
  • Best ever Sept for Ford, best YTD for LCVs in general since 2007 

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released the sales data for September 2016, and it was another month of growth for the light commercial vehicle (LCV) sector.

Overall registrations rose 1.9 percent compared to September 2015, driven in part by pickup sales – which saw a 16.4 percent increase year-on-year, and their eighth consecutive month of growth.

For the first time since September 2007, more than 290,000 vans and pickups have been sold in the first three-quarters of the year.

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Record LCV sales for Ford in September 2016

The total number of LCVs registered in September 2016 was 59,857. An impressive figure, but perhaps even more remarkable is that nearly one third of that total was delivered by a single manufacturer: Ford.

Yep. Ford sold nearly 20,000 LCVs in September 2016 – 19,434 to be precise – making last month the firm’s best-ever September for van and pickup sales. In fact, it was Ford’s second most successful month ever, only beaten by the 20,735 registrations recorded in March 2016.

It’s proving a good year for Ford commercial vehicles – year to date registrations of 90,141 are nearly three times the 33,889 sales of its nearest rival, Volkswagen.

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Who else is doing well in the LCV sector?

Vauxhall is currently in third place, with 31,438 sales year-to-date, though it was pushed into fourth place in September 2016 by Peugeot, which recorded 5,396 sales to Vauxhall’s 5,359. Peugeot is fourth overall for the year with 25,698 registrations year-to-date.

September 2016 UK van sales figures from the SMMT

In addition to the increasing popularity of pickups, heavier vans are also proving a hit among buyers, with those rated at 2.0-2.5t up 11.2 percent for September, and 2.5-3.5t vans up 5.2 percent.

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What’s driving the increase in LCV sales?

According to SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes: “The month of September did not disappoint, as businesses took advantage of the new 66-plate and a range of attractive and flexible finance options.”

We’d add that with plenty of manufacturers keen to shed stock of outgoing Euro 5 engines there were plenty of deals to be had – plus the appeal of the new Euro 6 engines may also have contributed, as most bring additional performance alongside an increase in fuel economy.

What Euro 6 means for van and pickup buyers

Will this trend continue?

That’s the – literally – million dollar question, as more and more commentators are becoming concerned about the impact of Brexit on the British economy.

Mike Hawes again: “To maintain this high level of demand and drive fleet renewal, positive business conditions must be assured despite the long-term political and economic uncertainty.”

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