Commercial vehicle registrations were down 22.0% in December and down 10.7% to 346,873 for 2008, according to data just published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Within those totals, truck registrations were up 5.8% in December and up 13.1% to 57,410 for the year. By contrast, vans were down 26.6% for the month and down 14.3% to 289,463 for the year.
"The year ended well for truck registrations, while vans continued down but not as fast as in November," said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. "After the abrupt end to buoyant registrations in 2008, we're looking to the year ahead with caution rather than trepidation. Consumer and business demand will be low as we see the first big recession since the early 1990s. We hope spending will stabilize in the second half of the year; with costs falling, credit markets recovering and government policies supporting recovery. Confidence to invest in new vehicles should then return, but the revival may be slow, taking some years to repeat recent record volumes."
More from Robin Dickeson at [email protected]