Published on Wednesday 30 January 2013 in Van News
While the big firms and large financial institutions are struggling to turn their big oil tankers around, the smaller, more agile speedboat-like SME's, are proving there are growth opportunities. In fact, small firms are best-placed to help the economic recovery - or so says the Federation of Small Businesses. We agree with them. Many of our customers run their own businesses - builders and gardeners, decorators and delivery drivers - the backbone of the British economy. While 2012 saw a drop in the number of light commercial vehicles being sold nationally - the percentage of those vans and pick-ups bought via a lease grew, in fact, Vanarama alone leased over £28 million worth of light commercial vehicles.
We all know that banks weren't lending easily last year, but lenders in the vehicle leasing industry remained pragmatic. With a van or pick-up to use as collateral against non-payment of the loan, they remained willing to lend. "Small business owners, like our customers, are a savvy bunch. They can see the benefit of holding onto their capital and leasing the van or pick-up they need for their business instead," says Andy Alderson, Vanarama's managing director.
And what were the most popular vans bought last year? While Ford remains the best-selling van in the UK, *Mercedes, helped by its Sprinter, managed an 8% growth over its 2011 sales figures and Citroen achieved over 6% growth on 2011 aided by the Berlingo, Relay, Dispatch and Nemo.
Andy says, "The Federation of Small Businesses, in its new year message, says funding for lending is going to make credit cheaper this year. Although overall economic growth is not expected to be great, we believe the growth in the SME sector will be. Improved availability of credit for our customers, along with the innovative new products and technologies due to be launched in 2013's new vans and pick-ups, should make this a great year. We are aiming to sell over £40 million worth of vehicles this year and we're looking forward to giving you, our customer's even better service with our bigger customer services team."
*Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders December 2012 figures.