UK commercial vehicle (CV) production decreased to 7,940 units in November, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The decline in output of -7.8%, the weakest November performance since 2017, reflects the challenges faced by the wider industry, with the global shortage of semiconductors – itself a by-product of the pandemic – continuing to stymie production.
November’s decline was driven by a -16.4% fall in the number of CVs built for export, whilst the domestic market grew marginally by 4.5%. During 2021, the share of exported CVs has decreased by almost five percentage points, from 56.4% to 51.5%. At the same time, domestic demand has grown – albeit against weak demand in 2020 – given gradual economic recovery and high demand for online deliveries.
Year-to-date, 66,753 units have been built, an increase of 12.2% on the pandemic ravaged 2020, thanks to an increase in output earlier in the year. However, output remains -16.6% down against the five-year pre-pandemic average.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “After the significant growth seen in the sector in October, November’s decline in light commercial vehicle output is disappointing. The impact of the global shortage of semiconductors cannot be overstated, and coupled with increasing uncertainty over the pandemic, the months ahead will be difficult. However, the UK’s automotive manufacturers are resilient and will continue to do all they can to keep factory lines operational over the coming months enabling the latest and cleanest CVs to enter UK roads.”
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