UK commercial vehicle production boasts best February since 2008

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Exporting British made vans from Bristol Port. Source: SMMT

UK commercial vehicle (CV) production almost doubled in February, with 12,927 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches leaving factory lines, according to figures published this week by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

  • CV production up 98.4% to 12,927 units in fifth consecutive month of growth.
  • Export volumes soar by 188.0% while manufacturing for the UK declines marginally, by -4.0%.
  • Year to date output rises 56.4% with exports up 104.5% to 17,976 units.

The 98.4% uplift in volume was the best February performance since 2008 and follows a particularly weak February last year as supply chain issues, notably semiconductor shortages, impacted manufacturing output.

February’s production boost was driven by significant demand for British-built vehicles in overseas markets. Exports increased by 188.0% to 10,011 units, representing 77.4% of all CVs made in the month, with more than nine in 10 (97.6%) destined for the EU. Conversely, output for the domestic market fell for the second month in a row, down -4.0% to 2,916 units, although this represented a decline of just 123 vehicles.

In the year to date, 24,683 CVs have been built in Britain, up some 56.4% on the first two months of 2023. Exports have driven this growth, up 104.5% to 17,976 units, an increase of 9,184, while volumes for the home market have fallen by 279 to 6,707.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

CV manufacturing has kickstarted the year with two months of impressive growth as robust overseas demand for British-built vans continues. The challenge now is to maintain this success amidst fierce global competition, accelerating production of zero emission vehicles to enable the fast paced delivery of these critical models. Strong performing economies at home and abroad will be key to this ambition.

Source: SMMT

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