Commercial vehicle production almost doubles in August

UK commercial vehicle manufacturing output bounced back spectacularly in August, up 47.9% year-on-year, reversing a trend of four successive months of decline, new figures have revealed.

Statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the uptick was drive by new model production and overseas demand.

The SMMT reported that 5,544 units rolled off production lines in August, nearly 1,800 more than in the same period last year, and the best August production figures since 2012.

Output for the overseas and home markets rose, up 71.9% and 17.3% respectively, emphasising the export-led nature of British CV production.

However, despite August’s strong performance, production volumes are down 13.4% for the year to date, which is largely down to a 24.5% drop in overseas orders. Home demand is up 7.5% but this represents some 6,500 fewer units than those made for export since January.

In all, 45,717 commercial vehicles have rolled off the production line this year, compared to 52,812 at the same point in 2018.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “It’s good news to see commercial vehicle production rebound in August, as new model production ramps up and customers respond to the latest, cleanest vans coming to market. It is still too early to draw any long-term conclusions that volumes will recover for the year, however, and crucial to future success will be keeping beneficial trading relationships with the EU and other global markets.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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