UK commercial vehicle production more than halved in June compared to 2018, thanks to changeovers in models and declining exports, new figures have revealed.
Production fell by 57% in June, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Manufacturing for home and overseas markets experienced declines in the month, falling 45% and 65% respectively. In all, 3,345 vans, trucks and buses left production lines last month.
The SMMT put the fall down to key model changeovers continuing to impact output, as well as declining exports.
Overall in the first six months of 2019, output fell 15.8% compared to the same period in 2018. This has been driven by three months of significant decline following a strong start to the year. While production for home markets is holding up – increasing by 11% – export markets are suffering a marked decline. Exports fell 29%, with 19,735 units shipped abroad in the first half of the year. Despite that, exports still account for more than half of all UK CV manufacturing, with the majority destined for the EU.
Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said: “Although model changes and fluctuating fleet buying cycles are behind the recent decline, these half-year results once again demonstrate the importance of exports to UK commercial vehicle production.”
With that in mind, Hawes also called for a Brexit deal that maintains frictionless trade, which he believes “will be key to the future viability of this valuable UK sector.”