CV manufacturing output stalls in August

UK commercial vehicle production stalled in August, with numbers falling by more than 35% year-on-year, as manufacturers were impacted by the global semi-conductor shortage and summer shutdowns.

In all, 3,179 units rolled off production lines in August, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This fall follows five consecutive months of growth, as the UK CV industry gradually recovered as COVID lockdown measures eased.

Overall in the year to date, CV production is up by 18.2% on the same period of 2020, although that was a particularly weak year due to the pandemic. Looking at the five-year pre-COVID average for CV production, numbers are 21.2% down in 2021, as COVID continues to impact the sector.

The number of CVs produced for overseas markets fell by 19.3% despite the total export share increasing by 12.7% to 64.6% during the month. But over the course of the year so far, export share has fallen from 54.6% to 50.8%, as domestic demand outpaced that from abroad.

“After five months of consecutive growth it is disappointing to see the steady recovery of the commercial vehicle sector stall in August,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “This is primarily due to the global shortage of semiconductors, which continues to challenge the industry. With the lack of available chips expected to continue beyond next year, manufacturers will need to fight to keep production lines operational as they look to ensure that the newest and greenest zero emission capable commercial vehicles, that suit the needs of both operators and drivers, are made in the UK.”

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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