Reasons to be cheerful

26 May 2022 #Uncategorised

The CV Show had a great spring in its step, commercial vehicle production in April has beaten even pre-pandemic levels of output, and there are more and more electric van options for buyers – many of which were on display at the show, along with some of the very latest zero-emission trucks.

The buzz at the NEC has been fantastic as the industry tries to return to business as usual. No official numbers yet to compare with last autumn’s show, but we ran out of milk for teas and coffee on our stand on day one which hasn’t happened before!

Exhibitors’ stands looked great, with many choosing to attend the show for the very first time and reporting hugely positive interest. The SMMT team also gave a tour to government officials to give the sector some richly deserved exposure.

This week, we were also able to celebrate the highest April commercial vehicle manufacturing figures since 2016. Rising for the fourth month in a row, and by 27.6% month-on-month, the increase was driven by very strong export demand with 4,723 units heading overseas.

We also unveiled the results of our electric van survey which show more than a third of all van options are now available with a plug, and that 88% of prospective buyers are ready to make the switch before 2035.

However, that six out of ten owners are anxious about being able to find an available charging point when they need one, so we are calling for a national ‘van plan’ to address this and accelerate electric vehicle uptake. It’s a long road ahead to zero.

And while production looked nice and rosy in April, there are still immense challenges with ongoing semiconductor shortages, impacts from the war in Ukraine, soaring energy costs and inflation rates through the roof.

To quote Nat King Cole, then, there may still be some trouble ahead.

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