CV production dips home and abroad

UK commercial vehicle (CV) production fell by 21.6% in the second month of the year, with 6,491 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches leaving factory lines.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says the decline follows a large rise in February last year and, last month, the best January performance in a decade, but supply chain constraints restricted production in February.

February saw the number of CVs produced for overseas markets decrease by 18.6% to 3,460 units, while output for the domestic market fell more steeply, down 24.7% to 3,031 units.

In the year to date, 15,790 units have been built, up 4.3% on the first two months of 2022, thanks to a high performing January. The export and domestic markets also benefitted from the strong result, increasing 7.2% and a more marginal 0.9% respectively this year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Following last year’s strong growth and a bumper start to 2023, February’s decline in commercial vehicle output is disappointing. The fall should, however, be temporary as additional production begins later in the year. UK automotive manufacturers continue to show resilience against persistent supply chain and economic challenges and will push to deliver the latest and cleanest CVs to customers at home and abroad. But success isn’t yet guaranteed, so we look now to government to provide a framework of measures that boost the industry’s long-term competitiveness and encourage inward investment to drive electrification for this vital sector.”