Refrigerated vehicle company sees orders soar by a cool 75%

CoolKit's van range

Orders for a Burnley-based refrigerated vehicle company have soared by a record 75% in the first quarter of its new financial year, which should translate to an annual turnover of more than £15m.

The orders for vehicles, converted to refrigerated vans, buck the overall trend for the general light commercial vehicle (LCV) sector.

In March CoolKit took orders for 50 converted vans at a time when official figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that, overall, UK van registrations fell by 27.6% in the first quarter.

CoolKit’s chief executive, Rupert Gatty, explained: “Our markets are seeing a huge resurgence in activity post-COVID, especially within the food service industry, which was effectively closed by the pandemic.

“Ongoing environmental concerns and the increase in the home delivery of goods have also contributed to the rapid and sustained growth for LCVs.”

To meet the increase in market demand from its core customer bases, CoolKit has committed to stocking more than 500 new vans, including models from Citroen, Fiat, Ford, Maxus, Mercedes-Benz, Vauxhall, and Volkswagen.

Gatty predicts sales of the stock will generate sales in excess of £15m for CoolKit in 2022.

He said: “Such is the shortage of new stock in the industry, CoolKit has found that it is often receiving enquiries from intermediaries in the supply chain for the first time, from rental and contract hire companies, for example, and brokerages, too.

“All of these businesses are increasingly trying to secure more van stock, which is being hampered the longer the supply chain is constrained.

“There is no sign of constrained supply ending anytime soon. In fact, in some respects, things are getting worse with world events restricting the supply of wiring looms, compounding the problems of shortages of semiconductors and many other components. And, the price of raw materials – especially metals – and logistics, are going up, too.”