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Light van sales dip slows market growth

Date: 06 June 2011

New van registrations increased by 21.4% year-on-year in April to 18,081, according to the SMMT, but a 9% drop in light van sales to 3298 held back the rate of growth.

By contrast heavy van sales jumped 33.7% in April to 10,392 while the medium van segment saw a 32.3% hike to 2351.

Pick-up registrations grew 20.5% in April to 1698 but were a whopping 53.6% ahead in the first four months of the year.

Although light van sales were up 4.3% to 17,963 over the first four months of the year the increase is modest in a recovering market that saw sales rise by well over 30% in both the medium and heavy van sectors.

The trend could suggest that operators are looking to maximize payload and load capacities by choosing larger vans in order to cut down on the number of journeys their fleet vehicles need to make.

Overall, SMMT boss Paul Everitt said the sales growth indicated an ongoing resurgence of confidence in the commercial vehicle market.

"April recorded the 15th successive monthly rise for new van registrations," he said. "Year-to-date figures for almost every sector were up significantly on 2010, a trend that is likely to continue throughout the year."

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