SMMT News UK Manufacturing

CV output records best start to year since 2008

29 February 2024 #SMMT News #UK Manufacturing
  • UK CV production rises 26.9% in January in best start to a year since 2008.
  • Production for export up 49.8%, while output for the UK declines -4.0%.
  • Exports drive growth, with nearly seven in 10 (67.8%) CVs built for international markets.

UK commercial vehicle (CV) production grew by 26.9% in the first month of 2024, with 11,756 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches leaving factory lines, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The strong performance saw January output reach its highest level in 16 years, some 28.0% above pre-pandemic 2019 levels, reflecting the sector’s health as it builds on 2023’s positive performance.1

Output was driven by exports, with global demand for British-built CVs up 49.8% to 7,965 units. Nearly seven in 10 (67.8%) CVs were produced for international markets, with the EU remaining the UK’s biggest overseas customer – responsible for 97.4% of exports.2 Volumes for the UK market, however, recorded a slight decline, falling by -4.0% to 3,791 units ¬– a reduction equal to just 156 units.

Overall manufacturing growth is expected to continue throughout the year, with light commercial vehicle volumes set to rise to 173,500 units and hold steady ahead as the sector benefits from new model activity and major investments into zero emission vehicle production.3

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

A positive start to the year sets the stage for a promising 2024, with the sector delivering the best result in 16 years and recently announced green investment adding to the optimism. Ongoing economic and geopolitical headwinds, however, mean we must enhance the UK’s offer as a competitive manufacturing destination. The upcoming Budget presents an opportunity for the government to implement measures to do just that – supporting affordable energy, stimulating infrastructure investment and boosting market demand.

Notes to editors

1 CV manufacturing, January 2008: 20,840 units; CV manufacturing, January 2019: 9,182 units
2 January export figures for Europe: 7,760 units
3 Based on AutoAnalysis independent outlook, November 2023

Filter News

Update Newsletter