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VAN SALES FIGURES: LCV registrations dip dramatically across the board

Date: 03 March 2009

As consumer confidence plummeted there were few bright spots in last year's sales LCV figures, with every sector and most manufacturers recording figures down on 2007, writes Paul Barker

The new van market took a bigger hit than its car equivalent in 2008, struggling to a final figure of 289,463 units - 14.3% or 48,278 units less than 2007.

However, the fleet portion of the market - roughly two-thirds of sales - fared slightly better than the overall figure, recording a 12.0% fall.

In troubled times people tend to stick with what they know, and in the fleet sector the top four players stayed the same, although Ford did lose a little of its huge advantage over Vauxhall and VW. In 2008 it more than doubled the fleet LCV registrations of any of its competitors, but Vauxhall closed the gap by recording figures of just 5.6% down compared with Ford's 16.2% drop.

Mercedes-Benz was the only top 10 player to increase sales thanks mainly to the Sprinter while LDV dropped out of the top 10, replaced by Fiat.

The medium and heavy panel van Ford Transits again bagged the top two positions in the fleet van models table, although Vauxhall's Combo passed the Transit Connect for third.

The pick-up market suffered, with registrations dropping 32.7%.

Heavy vans seemed to be least affected by the economic problems, falling just 2.6%.