SMMT to boost image and profile of UK CV industry

23 April 2012 #SMMT News

Ahead of the 2012 CV Show (24-26 April at the NEC, Birmingham), SMMT has set out plans to raise the image and profile of the commercial vehicle industry.

The CV sector is crucial to the UK economy and impacts on every element of society, delivering products and materials used every day. UK van and truck registrations alone account for around £8bn turnover annually with even more value added through the significant numbers of people employed across the sector.

The Society explained how the sector saw robust recovery from recession with 2012 expected to be a year of consolidation before further growth in 2013 to over 280,000 van and around 50,000 truck registrations.

As part of the image and profile campaign, the safety of today’s commercial vehicles will be highlighted. Compared with 10 years ago, there were 38% fewer CV accidents and a 56% drop in driver/passenger casualties.


Vans and trucks – Key facts

Economic contribution:

  • Each year, registrations of new vans and trucks account for around £8bn turnover.
  • 81% of all goods are delivered by road (rail 5%, water 6%, and pipeline 8%).


  • Thanks to ongoing development of active and passive safety technologies, there were 38% fewer CV accidents in 2011 than 10 years ago with a 56% drop in driver/passenger casualties [source DfT].
  • Of all cyclist accidents (killed or seriously injured) on UK roads, 90% do not involve a van or truck and compared with 10 years ago, there are a third less cyclist/truck accidents [source DfT].
  • Safety is of paramount importance to van and truck manufacturers, operators and drivers. Every year trucks are inspected by VOSA, the DVLA requires drivers to hold an additional qualification and all businesses running them must be licensed.


  • Today’s vans and trucks shift the equivalent of 2,832 tonnes of goods every minute.
  • A supermarket home delivery van can transport 40 car-loads of groceries, while a 44t truck will carry about 40 van-loads of stock.
  • A modern heavy truck (44t) can carry double the weight at more than twice the speed of a 1950s max weight truck.

Environmental credentials:

  • Van manufacturers are committed to reducing fleet average CO2 emissions to 175g/km by 2017 and to 147g/km by 2020.
  • In the last 10 years, the number of alternatively-fuelled vans on UK roads increased 370% to 8,816 in 2011.
  • Compared to a 1992 ‘Euro I’ truck, today’s ‘Euro V’ vehicles generate 67% less carbon monoxide, 58% less hydrocarbons, 75% less NOx and 97% less particulates.
  • One of today’s 44t trucks is 20 times quieter than a max weight truck from 1970.

UK van and truck manufacturing:

  • Eight companies manufacture vans and trucks in the UK.
  • Over 125,000 vans and trucks are manufactured in the UK each year.
  • More than 300,000 new vans and trucks were registered across the UK in 2011.
  • There are over 4.1 million vans and trucks registered for use in the UK.
  • 1 in 8 UK motorists is a van or truck driver.

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