UK commercial vehicle output falters in February

UK commercial vehicle output falters in February

SMMT — 2023-03-30

Automotive Industry

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, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The decline follows a large rise in 2023 February last year and, last month, the best January performance in a decade, but supply chain constraints restricted production in 2023 February.

February saw the number of CVs produced for overseas markets decrease by -18.6% to 3,460 units – with some 90.3% destined for the EU.1 Output for the domestic market fell more steeply, down -24.7% to 3,031 units. The decline is expected to be temporary as volumes are set to increase significantly over the full year, notably so once a major new electric van plant comes on stream.

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 2023 January. The export and domestic markets also benefitted from the strong result, increasing 7.2% and a more marginal 0.9% respectively in 2023.

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."