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Fleet LCV sales fail to March forward

Date: 21 April 2009   |   Author:

The new van fleet market is yet to show any real sign of recovery, with March finishing 48.4% down on the same month in 2008.

March is a huge month for the industry due to the registration plate change, and accounts for more volume than January and February combined.

A total of 17,158 new vans were registered to fleet, compared with 33,241 in March 2008. Last month's figures were a touch better than the year-to-date result, which was 49.2% down on the first quarter of 2008 at 30,154.

Ford still leads the market, taking a third of sales, but it was 53.9% down with 5675 registrations. Second-placed Vauxhall was down 39.1% at 2941 while VW fared better, only 26.1% down at 1959 units. Mazda was the only brand to record a positive figure compared with March 2008, up 17.1%, from 76 to 89 vehicles.

The light van market performed best of the mainstream sectors, down 30.6% compared with the medium and heavy van markets' 55.4 and 54.0% drops respectively.

The lack of market upturn will be a blow to commercial vehicle manufacturers. A leading industry insider told BusinessCar his company was hoping that March would be the month when firms holding off on replacing vehicles would finally make the acquisition decision. But despite the upturn in used van residual values there's no evidence it is yet happening.

BCA has reported a £400 rise in average values last month as buyers compete strongly for stock, with prices now averaging £3544. That puts values £772 ahead of the market's December low-point but still £177 behind March 2008.

Commercial vehicle fleet registrations – March 2009
ManufacturerMarch 2009March 2008% change
1. Ford567512,303-53.9
2. Vauxhall29414829-39.1
3. VW19592650-26.1
4. Renault13473053-55.9
5. Peugeot12821523-15.8
6. Citroen11061880-41.2
7. Mercedes7901794-56.0
8. Toyota6121055-42.0
9. Nissan4541713-73.5
10. Iveco262407-35.6