WITH 22,000 light commercial vehicles sold so far this year, the top 10 importers are responsible for 90% of them, leaving 19 more brands scrabbling for the balance.
Those sales are 50% up on the same period last year, underpinning the belief that the recession is ending rapidly.
Ford retains its crown as the van leader, with 5,540 units sold at the end of September, followed by Volkswagen (3,221), Renault (2,817), Toyota (1,748), Citroen (1, 301), Opel (1,061), Peugeot (1,017), Mercedes-Benz (1,008), Nissan (935) and Land Rover (929).
In the 6,286-strong large van parc, Ford’s Transit and Transit Custom hit the 3,267 mark at the end of the third quarter, a long way from the nearest rival, Renault Master (1,006), with Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (584), VW’s Crafter (429) and Nissan’s NV400 ( 329) rounding out the top five in the segment.
Renault’s Trafic leads the 3,243 medium vans, with 1,079 units, from Volkswagen’s Transporter (892), Opel’s Vivaro (604), the Mercedes- Benz Vito (189) and Nissan’s Primastar (129).
The very important small-van segment, with 5,901 units registered, is led again by Volkswagen’s Caddy (1,441), and the new generation of that vehicle, which has just been launched, will likely maintain that position.
Ford’s Transit Connect range (1,153 ) and Citroen’s Berlingo (1,100) are strong in the race, with Peugeot’s Partner (806) and Renault’s Kangoo (604) filling out the top five in this space.
As always, Toyota’s Land Cruiser is the heavy-gang commercial SUV leader, with 1,044 of the 3,514 registrations in the segment. Land Rover’s doughty Discovery is close enough, with a healthy 845 units, while Ford has 495 Kugas registered as commercials and Hyundai’s ix 35 (288) and Mitsubishi’s Pajero (204) also make the five best-sellers’ space.
Pick-ups are boosting their way back with the uplift in the economy, and, presumably, more construction work. Of 1,003 units rolled out, Toyota’s Hilux is at the top of the field, with 328, from Ford’s Ranger (187), Isuzu’s D-MAX (13 9), VW’s Amarok (109) and Nissan’s Navara (80). The Ford, Nissan and the Mitsubishi L200 (78) will likely benefit from all-new versions already launched or imminent.
The car-derived van market of 1, 326 units is led by Volkswagen’s Golf (361), followed by Ford’s Focus (292), Hyundai’s i 30 (252), Toyota’s Auris (240), Ford’s Fiesta (127) and Opel’s Astra estate van (54).
The chassis cab business remained small, with just 120 units, of which 82 are Mitsubishi Canters and the balance taken by Isuzu’s NPR range.
Overall, with the economy on the march, the light-commercials business is on a roll.
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