December crowns year of growth in van market
December saw a 7.8 per cent hike in the van market, crowning a year in which the sector grew almost 17 per cent.
According to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) some 260,153 vans were registered during the year, December contributing 18,415 to the total.
SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt describes 2011 as a year of consistent growth in the market; “Renewed business confidence fuelled the month-on-month rises, while innovative developments in vehicle design and technologies provided solid business reasons for companies to upgrade their vehicles in 2011.”
However he also sounds a note of caution. “There can be no room for complacency this year, government must deliver its growth strategy and help strengthen business and consumer confidence.”
Biggest growth in December was seen in the 2 to 2.5-tonne sector, the 2,396 vehicles registered a rise of 14.6 per cent. The 2.5 to 3.5-tonne segment also rose 13.1 per cent, 10,919 vehicles registered.
However the 2,936 figure for the smallest sub 2-litre vans represented a drop of 4.3 per cent. The pickup sector also dropped by 2.5 per cent to 1,708 vehicles, as did the smallest sector for 4x4s, 456 registered representing a decline of 12.8 per cent.
While Ford’s Transit remained the best-selling van, as it has done since the first version launched in 1965, Vauxhall Commercial Vehicles topped the retail sales chart for the first time.
The 11,436 vans sold by the Luton-based manufacturer was up 28.05 per cent on 2010, with sales of its Vivaro (pictured) climbing a massive 58 per cent.
Vauxhall topped the monthly sales charts in January, March, April, July, September and October and earned itself a record 16.35 per cent market share by the end of the year.
Words by: Andrew Charman