New van sales see growth in March

Sales of new vans in the UK have risen for the third consecutive month, according to monthly research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

A total of 34,691 light commercial vehicles were sold in March 2010, which represents a 16.3 per cent improvement on figures from last March, although statistics for the rolling year remain depressed compared to 2009.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, described this trend as a “welcome improvement”, but suggested that demand among potential van buyers remains low due to ongoing economic uncertainty.

He therefore described the current recovery as “hesitant”, forecasting that the commercial vehicle sector will need to do more to stimulate long-term growth.

Mr Everitt said: “Manufacturers and dealers will look for more and better priced credit to help strengthen demand in the coming months.”

Earlier this year, retailer British Car Auctions forecast that UK fleet operators will increasingly look to invest in used vans in the coming months in order to cost-effectively expand their vehicle stock.

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