UK Manufacturing

Commercial vehicle output stalls in August with a -35.1% fall

30 September 2021 #UK Manufacturing
  • 3,179 commercial vehicles produced during August, a decrease of -35.1% on 2020, as output remains
    -20.0% below the five-year average for the month.1
  • Exports of commercial vehicles drop by -19.3%, while domestic demand saw a more significant decline of -52.3%.
  • Given previous robust increases, year-to-date production remains 18.2% up on a weak 2020, but down
    -21.2% on the pre-pandemic average.2

UK commercial vehicle (CV) production dropped to 3,179 units in August, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). After five consecutive months of growth, production decreased by -35.1% compared to the same month in 2020, as production lines were impacted by semi-conductor shortages and variations in summer shutdowns.

Despite the year-to-date production of CVs in 2021 increasing by 18.2% on a weak 2020, output remains -21.2% below the pre-Covid five-year average. This reflects the ongoing impact of Covid on vehicle production and variations in demand in a lockdown-impacted year.

The number of CVs produced for overseas markets fell by -19.3% despite the total export share increasing by 12.7 percentage points to 64.6% during the month. Over the course of the year, however, export share has fallen from 54.6% to 50.8%, as domestic demand outpace that from abroad.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

After five months of consecutive growth it is disappointing to see the steady recovery of the commercial vehicle sector stall in August. This is primarily due to the global shortage of semiconductors, which continues to challenge the industry. With the lack of available chips expected to continue beyond next year, manufacturers will need to fight to keep production lines operational as they look to ensure that the newest and greenest zero emission capable commercial vehicles, that suit the needs of both operators and drivers, are made in the UK.

Notes to editors

1. Average for August 2015-2019 – 3,972
2. Average for January-August 2015-2019 – 54,754

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