- UK commercial vehicle (CV) production slips -4.3% in March to 8,041 units.
- Exports rise for seventh consecutive month, with vehicles shipped overseas up 7.8% to 4,855 units.
- Q1 performance stable, down marginally by -0.7% as export demand grows 21.2% to account for two thirds of production volumes.
UK commercial vehicle manufacturing slipped in March, as a surge in demand from overseas customers just failed to counteract a drop in production for the domestic market, according to figures published by SMMT. 8,041 units were produced in the month, down -4.3% year-on-year. The performance comes on the back of very high levels of demand among UK operators in 2015 and 2016 as fleet renewal patterns adjusted to regulatory changes.
While output for the UK market fell by -18.4% in March, production for export grew 7.8% – the seventh consecutive month of growth.1 Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2017 the number of CVs shipped to overseas markets rose by 21.2%, helping keep overall production volumes strong, down just -0.7% on the previous year. Exports now account for 64.3% of all UK CV production, the highest level for seven years.2
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,
Despite the expected fall in domestic demand following extremely high levels of growth in the previous two years, UK CV production remains positive and continuing growth in overseas demand highlights the quality and competitiveness of our products. With some 90% of CV exports destined for the EU, we urge government to strive to deliver a free trade deal that will maintain that competitiveness and secure this industry’s future success.
1 UK CV exports have grown every month since August 2016
2 In Q1 2010, exports accounted for 72.3% of UK CV production output