UK commercial vehicle (CV) production increased by 23.9% in June, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with some 4,144 vans, trucks and buses leaving production lines last month. This increase follows a particularly weak June 2019 when output fell by more than half due to key model changeovers.
Even though production ramped up in June, the first six months of 2020 saw total output decline by -24.8%, on the same period in 2019 as Covid-19-enforced lockdown of global markets forced factories to be shuttered. First half production for the home market decreased by -23.3%, while exports fell -26.0%, with just 14,613 units shipped overseas. Exports accounted for 55.3% of all UK CV manufacturing – with the majority heading for the EU.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Although growth in CV manufacturing in June is undoubtedly good news, this does not indicate a return to business as normal.
“The sector remains almost 9,000 units behind 2019, which will be difficult to catch back given many plants are still operating at a reduced capacity. The government urgently needs to assist this critical sector by building operator confidence domestically and by ensuring competitive conditions are in place to drive long term growth and safeguard jobs. That must start with securing an ambitious and truly tariff-free EU-UK FTA – and quickly.”