28 March 2019 (data for February 2019)
- Number of CVs built in the UK up 53.5% in February, as 9,233 leave production lines.
- Growth in demand from both overseas and UK markets, up 51.9% and 57.3% respectively.
- Year-to-date performance rises by 51.3% on same period last year, up 6,241 units.
Thursday 28 March, 2019 British commercial vehicle (CV) production increased by 53.5% in February to 9,233 vehicles, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Strong market incentives ahead of model changes helped boost the month to its best performance since 2012.1
The number of CVs manufactured for both domestic and export markets posted significant gains in the month, growing by 57.3% and 51.9% respectively. Almost seven in 10 British CVs were destined for global markets in February, as demand from overseas continued to drive output.
Year-to-date, the market painted a similar picture, with manufacturing up by 51.3% compared with the same and particularly weak period last year. In the first two months of the year, 18,415 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches left British production lines. However, output is expected to slow next quarter in preparation for the subsequent ramp-up for new model lines.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “While the positive news continues for UK CV manufacturing, it’s important to highlight that this low volume industry is cyclical and experiences large percentage swings when compared month on month. Although both demand at home and overseas has seen double-digit growth, still almost two thirds of British-built CVs are destined for export, the majority to the EU. This signifies just how vital a deal that retains free and frictionless trade with the EU is for this sector.”
The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for £82 billion turnover and £20.2 billion value added. With some 186,000 people employed directly in manufacturing and 856,000 across the wider automotive industry, it accounts for 12.8% of total UK export of goods and invests £3.65 billion each year in automotive R&D. More than 30 manufacturers build some 70 models of vehicle in the UK supported by 2,500 component providers and some of the world’s most skilled engineers.