UK CV production output for 2022 best in a decade

UK CV production of 2022 to date was the best first six months of a year since 2012

Commercial vehicle (CV) production jumped by 64% in June, with production volumes hitting levels not seen since 2015, resulting in the best first six months of a year since 2012, new figures show.

In all, 9,549 units left British factory lines in June, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). June production volumes were 33% above the pre-pandemic five-year average, and this was the sector’s sixth consecutive month of increased output.

Growth has largely been driven by overseas demand, with exports of British-built CVs jumping 133% year-on-year in June – now representing 58% units – with more than 92% of exports destined for the EU. Domestic demand, which remained more robust during the pandemic last year, increased by 17%, with year-on-year growth in four out of six months in 2022.

The strong performance means total output in the year to date reached 50,596 units, up 47% on 2021 and 17% above the pre-pandemic five-year average. As a result, output from January to June was the highest since 2012, as CV manufacturers ensure there is capacity to build these vehicles amid a boom in demand from businesses and operators renewing their fleets after two years focused largely on maintaining their existing fleet during the pandemic.

The UK’s CV sector has been a consistent bright spot amid the gloom experienced by the automotive industry. However, the SMMT warn that its global competitiveness is not guaranteed, saying it is crucial that inflation and energy costs are tackled with urgency, particularly as manufacturers continue to invest in production of the latest zero emission vehicles.

“The CV sector’s best first half performance in a decade is evidence of its resilience, as manufacturers strive to ensure orders for these vehicles, which are critical to the UK economy, are delivered in a highly challenging economic environment,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“At the same time, manufacturers are committed to building a growing range of more fuel efficient and zero emission vans, trucks, buses, coaches and taxis, an essential step towards achieving Net Zero, while ensuring society can continue to move. We must protect the global competitiveness of the sector amid these challenges, however, starting with measures to tackle energy costs, so that the UK continues to be among the world’s leading manufacturers for these vital vehicles.”

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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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