UK commercial vehicle industry bucks trend – manufacturing growth up by 97.4% in 2018

The big news from Europe’s premier commercial vehicle (CV) event, the Commercial Vehicle Show, is that demand for UK commercial vehicle production rose by 97.4% in 2018. In January 2019 alone, there was a 49.1% increase in demand, with 9,182 vans, trucks, buses and coaches leaving UK production lines – the highest for over seven years.

Unveiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) at the CV Show media day, the figures underline the sustained progression of manufacturing of commercial vehicles in the United Kingdom.

The numbers tell a positive story for the UK economy, showing that the demand fueling this growth has come from domestic and export markets, which saw double-digit increases, up by 97.4% and 25.3% respectively.

Exports of UK-produced commercial vehicles remained very strong, with 56.3% of CVs being built for export, of which the majority were exported to the EU. With a raft of model changes due across several British manufacturers in the coming months, this growth shows no signs of slowing, and the indicates strong confidence in a buoyant market.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “It’s good to see UK commercial vehicle manufacturing begin the year on a high, with strong market incentives ahead of model changes and a number of large fleet orders having a big impact on this small volume sector.

“While domestic demand almost doubled in January, exports continued to account for more than half of output, the majority destined for the continent. This underlines the importance of securing a deal with the EU, our biggest customer, that maintains free and frictionless trade.”

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