CV production hits six-year high in July

July's output was the highest for the month since 2016 and completed the best first seven months to a year in a decade

The strong rebound in growth in UK commercial vehicle (CV) production in 2022 continued in July, where the highest number of vehicles were registered for six years and rounded off the best first seven months of a year in a decade.

CV production grew by 44% in July, with just over 8,000 new vans, buses, trucks, coaches and taxis rolling off factory lines, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Output in July was the highest for the month since 2016 and completed the best first seven months to a year in a decade, with almost 59,000 CVs built in Britain so far this year.

Exports continued their double-digit growth this year, with July’s uplift of 34% marking the 11th consecutive month of increased output. Production for the domestic market also grew strongly, rising 59% on last year.

CV production this year continues the strong rebound from the pandemic. To date, CV production is up 47%, which is also more than 15% above the pre-pandemic five-year average. This is a result of continued robust demand from fleet operators and the capacity of Britain’s CV manufacturers to deliver for home and overseas markets, despite significant global supply constraints and domestic economic challenges.

Bus, coach, HGV, van and taxi manufacturers continue to invest in production of the latest zero emission vehicles amid growing demand from operators, and new funding from the £140 million Zero Emission Road Freight programme’s competition for hydrogen and electric HGV demonstrations should have a positive impact on the scale-up of production in one part of this diverse sector.

However, to ensure current levels of output are sustained across the industry, soaring inflation and business energy costs must be tackled urgently if Britain is to remain globally competitive, the SMMT warned.

“The CV sector continues to provide a shining example of successful UK automotive manufacturing with the best year to date performance since 2012,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “This is testament to the quality of commercial vehicles made in Britain, which are in high demand at home and abroad.

“However, the continued success of this export-led sector is not guaranteed, amid some of the toughest economic conditions in living memory. Urgent action is needed to bring down the high energy costs faced by automotive factories if their competitiveness is to be sustained.”

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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