For most manufacturing firms 2009 has been a volatile year, large organisations that were once thought to be recession proof have been introducing large scale redundancies across-the-board. Although some European countries have already exited the recession, the UK remains firmly in the period of negative growth which constitutes a recession. Some analysts believe that the UK will not fully start to recover from this period of economic instability until at least the 3rd quarter of 2010.
So what does this mean for the UK Light commercial vehicle market (LCV) during 2010?
The sharp downward trend in LCV vehicles over the course of the last year will start to show signs of recovery during Q3/4 of next year as confidence in the sector increases. Positive growth in this sector will be slow and will probably not be likely until early 2011. Growth in the LCV sector is highly dependent on the recovery of other sectors including plumbing & heating, home improvements, vehicle repairs and the distribution and logistics sectors.
During the recession there has been a tendency for fleet owners / managers to concentrate on fleet maintenance in favour of purchasing new vehicles – this trend is likely to be reversed during the later part of 2010 as fleet managers look towards replacing aging vehicle fleets. Consequently the second-hand LCV market is likely to grow in size as ex-fleet vehicles are sold on.
In conclusion, the year ahead is set to see the start of recovery of all sectors not least the vehicle manufacturing industry which has suffered more than most. That being said recovery will be slow and is likely to continue into 2011.