The market for trucks and vans is holding firm after last year's record sales, show industry figures.

Commercial-vehicle registrations in March dipped by 1.4 per cent to 54,925, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.

But measured on a rolling year basis counting from March 2004, the market is 5.5 per cent up with total registrations of 391,829.

The figures were announced on the backdrop of another highly- successful annual Commercial Vehicle show which wraps up at the NEC today. More than 600 exhibitors have taken part in the three-day event and organisers say a number of major deals have been struck.

Demand for light CVs, including vans, fell by 1.3 per cent to 48,384, but was 2.2 per cent up on the first three months of the year at 85,877.

Truck sales were virtually flat at 6,082 in March and 13,493 for the first quarter.

Sales of buses and coaches fell by 15 per cent to 459 in March but was six per cent ahead on the quarter at 1,085.

Birmingham vanmaker LDV saw sales of its existing Pilot and Convoy vehicles fall by 40 per cent to 846 in March.

The company, which announced fleet orders for its new Maxus worth £10 million this week, has hit its initial production target of 200 per week and expects to increase that to 250 in the next few months.