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Van sales rise for fourth consecutive month as supplies improve

Van sales rise for fourth consecutive month as supplies improve

The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market saw registrations rise for the fourth consecutive month, up 4.9% to 22,665 vehicles year on year in April.

Year to date 109,937 new LCVs have been registered, just -13.7% off 2019, down from -15.1% last month.

The market’s transition towards zero emission vehicles also received a boost with a 62.6% increase in battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake – an uplift to 1,494 units and a market share of 6.6%.

However, with BEV registrations in the year to date broadly in line with overall market growth at 14.8%, BEV market share for 2023 remains static at 5.4%.

Easing supply chain disruption means that, while the economic situation remains challenging, the overall market outlook for the year has been revised upwards from January.

The industry anticipates 326,000 new LCV registrations by the end of the year, a 15.4% increase on 2022 and a 1.4% increase on January’s outlook.

However, the anticipated BEV market share for 2023 has been revised downwards from 8.6% to 7.4%, as operators contend with high energy costs, inflationary pressures and a restricted infrastructure.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “Four months of growth signals recovery is in sight for the van market, with easing supply chain issues raising confidence and boosting the overall market outlook.

“Ongoing economic uncertainty, however, must be addressed to help sustain and expand EV uptake.

Hawes called for improvements to the charging infrastructure and more government incentives.