June returned the sixth consecutive month of growth for new Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) as registrations rose by 13.5% versus June 2018 with 29,142 new vehicles registered. Registrations in all sectors continue to remain strong, with lower emission vehicles and attractive market incentives driving demand. June returned increases of 10.3% in the sub 2.0 tonne sector and 22.2% in the 2.5-3.5 tonne sector. Offsetting some of these increases was a 3.6% decline in the 2.0-2.5 tonne sector and a third consecutive monthly decline in the pickup sector, this time by 0.7%.
At the halfway point of the year, year to date (YTD) registrations of new LCVs stands at 196,418. This is an 8.7% increase on the 180,696 registered over the same period in 2018.
Top five LCV registrations
June’s total ensured a record first six months of the year for LCV registrations. Driven by the September 2019 introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) for LCVs, many dealers are looking to clear NEDC compliant stock during the first half of the year. There is the likelihood of possible supply constraints and longer lead times through the latter part of the year as factories around the world ramp up UK production of WLTP compliant LCVs.
Softer retail activity continues to impact buyer demand in the wholesale market. Buyers seem less engaged; with any stock offered in volume or looking tired or damaged continuing to be difficult to shift.
Stock needing no attention continues to receive the strongest bids from professional buyers. Increases in stock availability has meant similarly specified vehicles not professionally managed into the marketplace, have seen prices come under further downward pressure.
Euro 6 stock accounted for less than 10% of all sales at auction last month. Most buyers are still happy trading in vehicles of at least two years old resulting in the general oversupply of stock and reductions in sale prices in each of the four main sectors versus May. The average first-time conversion rate also fell by 3.7% versus May and 12.2% versus June 2018.
Small Vans - 35% of overall sales
In the small van segment, Berlingo, Caddy and Transit Connect up to 3 years old were available in good supply whilst older 3-5 year old versions of the same vans generated good prices. Older examples of Kangoo, Doblo and Transit Connect continue to perform well.
Medium Vans - 35% of overall sales
Prices in the medium van sector are under growing pressure, with average sale prices nearly £1,000 lower than May. Even the best presented higher specification Transit Customs are struggling to find the same level of acceptance. An oversupply of late plate PSA and VW product is not helping the performance of newer plate vehicles. However, crew vans generally continue to yield good prices for vendors. Tidy examples of previous generation Dispatch/Expert/Proace have little trouble in finding buyers as have Vivaro and Trafic vans. Supplies of ex-utility Transit 300 SWB M/Roof are also proving popular with buyers.
Large Vans - 19% of overall sales
FWD 290 and 350 Transit models attracted plenty of attention over the month, with those in colour and with sensible miles selling strongly. Higher specification Citroen Relay, Peugeot Boxer and Renault Master models continue to prove popular. Similarly, tidy examples of curtain sider, drop side or tipper continue to attract buyer attention with solid prices, especially if mileages are low.
4x4 Pickups - 11% of overall sales
Too much similar stock continues to blight this sector, with even the nicest pickup coming under downward pressure. High specification Ranger Wildtrak, Navara Tekna and Hilux Invincible with automatic transmission are relatively easy to shift. However, the Amarok Highline and Fiat Fullback have generally underperformed. All models at 3-8 year old fared better. Rarer single cab and extended cab versions of L200, Ranger and Hilux also sold strongly commensurate with age and mileage.
This article was originally written for the Commercial Fleet blog.