Companies gearing up for Christmas and the Millennium celebrations created a November surge of medium LCV sales.
Registrations of LCVs in the 1,801-3,500kg (medium) sector rose 20.8% in the month to 12,871 units, while the sub 1,800kg (light) sector increased a fractional 0.6% at 7,116 units, according to the SMMT.
For the year, the LCV market is down 1.24% at 208,355 units, but the fall has been mostly in the light sector, which dropped 3.2% to 75,057 units. The medium sector for the year is stable, dipping 0.1% at 133,298 units.
The success of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has made the marque the second largest seller in the medium sector after Ford, with 1,641 units registered in November.
The German company increased registrations by 13.8% in the medium sector for the month, compared with November 1998. Mercedes-Benz is also ahead for the year at 3% growth from retailing 17,644 units.
Ford registered 4,988 medium sector units during November, increasing registrations 18.4% from the corresponding month last year. For the year, though, registrations in the sector have fallen 8% at 48,184 units.
In the sub-1,800kg sector, Ford is down for both the month and the year. In November, its registrations fell by 26 vehicles compared with last year, but for the year they are down almost 17% at 24,126 units.
Vauxhall increased registrations in the medium sector by a massive 130% by climbing to 4,344 for the year, from 1,886 in 1998. The company also showed 0.75% growth in the lighter sector with registrations of 18,221 units.
LDV, the third largest seller in the medium sector, also experienced a strong November by increasing registrations almost 23% at 1,359 units. For the year, the company is down 5.7% at 12,507 units.