Commercial vehicle production in the UK returned to growth in September, following a decline in units produced of more than a third in April, new figures have revealed.
In all 7,799 units rolled off production lines in September, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). After production declined by 35.1% in August, September saw a modest increase of 1.8% compared to a strong September 2020 when production volumes were driven by the fulfilment of several large fleet orders.
Over the year-to-date, production of CVs in 2021 has increased by 15.4% on 2020’s figures. However, production numbers were weak in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to the five-year pre-COVID average, output is down by 19.5%. This reflects the ongoing impacts of the semiconductor shortage, itself due in large part to the global coronavirus pandemic. which constrained semiconductor output in many factories around the world.
The increase in output of CVs in September was driven by domestic demand increasing by 27.3%, meanwhile the number of CVs produced for overseas markets declined by 12.4%. Over the course of the year, export share has fallen from 56.3% to 51.5% of production as output for the home market has outpaced that for overseas markets.
“Following last month’s decline in commercial vehicle production, the industry is back on track in September,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT. “This is particularly good news when viewed in context against last September, which was a strong month given the fulfilment of several large fleet orders. The sector is not out of the woods yet, however, and it still continues to face challenges, primarily from the global shortage of semiconductors, which is set to continue into next year.”