CV production falls in September

British commercial vehicle (CV) production output fell in September, as declining business confidence affected production volumes, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). A total of 7,208 vans, trucks, buses and coaches were built in the UK last month, a -26.0% year-on-year decline.

Domestic demand fell -32.6% in the month, with 2,710 CVs produced for the home market, echoing trends seen in UK van registration figures. Although natural fleet buying cycles can affect the timing of monthly production volumes, a recent decline in business confidence has seen further fluctuations in purchasing patterns, affecting production numbers. Meanwhile, demand from overseas markets declined -21.4%, however, the proportion of CVs built for export remains high at 62.4%.

Year-to-date production also saw a decline, with output down -11.7% to 61,233 units. However, production for export remained stable, up 3.6% in 2017 with 38,022 units shipped abroad this year, the majority to Europe

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘Domestic demand for commercial vehicles has taken a hit in recent months and this is being mirrored in UK production figures. While fluctuating fleet orders are a natural feature of the market, the decline in business confidence, caused by economic and political uncertainty, has resulted in further disruption to manufacturing output. It is, therefore, critical government safeguards the conditions needed for this vital sector to thrive.’