2015 looks set to be a record year for LCV sales, according to trade bible Glass’s, showing that the market has finally recovered from the impact of global recession.
George Alexander, chief editor for commercial vehicles, says that the final figure for the year is forecast to be around 339,000 – compared to 2007’s previous high of 337,741.
He explained: "There is a real sense of momentum right across the commercial vehicle market, as any visitor to the recent CV Show could attest. This is being seen in almost every sector but especially in LCVs. It would take a major downturn to stop a record tally being set."
George said that growth across the UK economy was powering the trend with many transport businesses reporting pleasing financial results.
"Really, there is a sense that the recessionary years are being finally put behind us and there is a return to something approaching real confidence that, we believe, should persist until the end of 2016."
Demand in the used LCV market was not as strong as new but remained steady, George added, as buyers had become more selective in both lightweight and panel van purchasing.
"We are really seeing a tale of two used markets. Late plate, well-specced models of newer designs are in high demand and their lack of availability is frustrating to trade and retails buyers, leading to many paying over the odds to secure the vehicle they want.
"This is especially true around the 3.5 tonne mark, which is proving to be something of a sweet spot in the market at present. Especially in-demand here are the Volkswagen Transporter and Ford Transit in both van and chassis variants.
"However, less popular LCVs with poor specifications or those that are well-used and have questionable service histories are struggling. There are many more of them about than in recent years and the market is reflecting this with a distinct lack of enthusiasm."