Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are seen by companies (and fleet managers) as one of the best options due to their flexibility, and the market usually reflects this trend.
As far as Europe is concerned, Dataforce, a market research specialist, has shared some valuable data on the LCV fleet market, particularly regarding the first half of 2017 from January to June. In this period there have been some varied results for the EU-16, with the majority of them showing a significant growth over this timeframe, particularly Finland with a 25.9% increase from the same period of last year. However, some countries returned a negative growth.
The LCV Fleet market has grown by 2.4%, compared to the same period of 2016, with 681,000 registrations. For the EU-5, which makes up 73.6% of the EU-16’s Fleet LCV volume, it has also been a mixed bag, with France, Germany and Spain all managing an increase (January to June period) but negative growth from both Italy and the UK.
In terms of volume, France continues to dominate the LCV market, helped by the prevalence of passenger car models (26.7%) registered and used as an LCV, with the next nearest country (UK) a little over 35,000 registrations behind.
The actual Top 10 models remain unchanged from last year though their corresponding ranking does. The biggest gain in ranking goes to the Volkswagen Caddy, moving up from 8th to 6th place. While the biggest drop in ranking came from the Citroen Berlingo, falling from 5th to 7th. Mercedes Sprinter retains its #1 position as the True Fleet model of choice for the EU-16 but is being chased hard by both the Ford Transit Custom and VW Transporter in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The next nearest model is the Renault Kangoo in 4th but this is over 5000 registrations behind a podium finish and has its own chasers in the Renault Trafic (5th) and VW Caddy (6th). The remaining three are the Peugeot Partner, Renault Master and Fiat Ducato.
With Long Term Rental (LTR) allowing for a more flexible approach for companies and their fleets, we are seeing an upward trend in this form of procurement. Since 2015, the True Fleet Long Term Rental LCVs have seen a steady upward trend in both France and especially Italy.
What might be the reason for this continuous trust in LCVs and steady growth in sales and rental? Vans appear to suit many companies, and if operational needs are adequately met, this can help businesses generate savings and drive down costs. Such vehicles are also helping more and more businesses to cut emissions and pollution, updated safety features are available for most of them and their flexibility allows them to help with fleet right-sizing as they can be easily repurposed.