UK Manufacturing

UK commercial vehicle production up 2.2% on pre-pandemic levels

25 June 2021 #UK Manufacturing
  • 6,243 units roll off production lines in May, up from 820 in pandemic-lockdown May 2020.
  • British commercial vehicle output up 2.2% on the five-year average for May.1
  • Year-to-date production up 28.5% on 2020, but remains -21.2% down on pre-pandemic average.2

UK commercial vehicle (CV) production increased to 6,243 units in May, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). For the second consecutive month CV output saw a significant increase on the same period in 2020, when just 820 units left production lines as plants either operated at a reduced capacity or were shut entirely. May’s output also represents a 2.2% increase on the five-year average, although this must be viewed in the context of important model changes in 2019.

Year-to-date, commercial vehicle production has increased by 28.5% on 2020 to 28,510 units, driven chiefly by a rise in domestic demand, up 48.4%. While the domestic share of production continues to increase, the share of exports has fallen from 56.3% in 2020 to 49.5% this year, as new trading agreements and lockdown measures abroad continue to have an impact on CV exports.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

May’s figures were always set to be exponentially higher than last year, as factories were forced to operate under limited capacity, or closed entirely. There was, however, some good news as production during the month surpassed pre-pandemic levels of output. For a full recovery, however, we need increased confidence not just in the domestic market but in overseas markets as well.

Notes to editors

1. Average for May 2015-2019 – 6,110
2. Year to date average 2015-2019 – 36,193

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