The van market fell almost five per cent in the first four months of the year, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The key 2.5-3.5 tonne sector was down 2.8 per cent on last year at 75,190 registrations.
SMMT chief Mike Hawes said: “April is traditionally a small month for new LCV registrations following the plate-change in March and, coming on the back of double-digit growth that resulted in a record April in 2016, this month’s decline comes as no surprise. Overall, the market remains robust, however, and so long as business confidence among operators can be maintained, we expect to see the market remain at what is a historically high level over the course of the year.”
Ford maintained market leadership with its Transit Custom, (17,849 registrations) and Transit (8,642 registrations), putting it well ahead of its nearest rivals, Volkswagen (7,790 Transporter registrations), and Vauxhall (6,236 Vivaro registrations).
The company said the full availability of Ford’s extended CV family has helped deliver these significant increases in sales and share.