Van sales hit all-time high in 2015

  • Sales have increased 15.6 percent compared with 2014
  • Renault van sales grew almost 40 percent during 2015
  • Growth attributed to stronger economy and better finance deals

Over 370,000 light commercial vehicles were registered during 2015, making it the biggest year on record. Sales were up 15.6 percent over 2014, the previous record holder, with Renault posting the strongest growth in the segment.

Reasons behind the growth

There are many reasons why van registrations were so high in 2015, but it was mainly down to the fact that two services closely associated with light commercial vehicles - construction and online deliveries - continued to perform very strongly.

Vauxhall Movano

However, there are also other, less significant reasons like the wider availability of finance, which is encouraging more operators to shift away from buying second-hand vans for cash in exchange for a presentable and reliable new van with flexible financing.

“This is excellent news for the commercial vehicle industry, and indeed the economy, with registrations of both vans and trucks posting strong gains, up 16.7 percent in total on 2014”, explains Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“CV demand is a key barometer of UK economic confidence and the market’s strong growth in 2015 was particularly encouraging. However, with these record figures in mind, we will expect to see the market levelling off slightly in 2016.”

Growth by sector

The fastest-growing segment, surprisingly, was 4x4 commercials, with sales up 22.3 percent to 10,719 units. Pickup truck growth wasn’t too far behind, with sales up 20 percent to 40,588 – the first time ever that UK sales have surpassed 40,000.

Ssangyong Korando CS

Sales of car-derived vans (sub 2-tonne) were up 8.8 percent to 43,018, while sales of small vans were down 1.9 percent to 55,163. Medium and large van sales have posted a strong, 21.3 percent increase to 222,342.

Growth by manufacturer

Ford continues to lead the way, a position it has held for over 50 years, with 24.8 percent market share. A total of 100,262 Ford vans and pickups were sold in 2015; up 21.5 percent. In second place is Volkswagen with 43,091 sales (up 7.1 percent) to give 11.6 percent market share.

Ford Transit Custom

After a strong year, Vauxhall is now only marginally behind Volkswagen. The Luton-based manufacturer sold 41,736 vans (up 28 percent on 2014) in 2015 to claim 11.2 percent of the market.

Just outside the Top 3 is Peugeot (33,695 sales; 9.1 percent of the market), followed by Mercedes-Benz (31,887; 8.6 percent), Citroen (30,119; 8.1 percent), Renault (whose sales increased 39.6 percent to 25,371 to give 6.8 percent market share), Fiat Professional (11,704; 3.2 percent) and Nissan (11,621; 3.1 percent).