SMMT – Export falls hit van production

July saw the fourth successive months of decline in commercial vehicle production, down by 31.2%, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The SMMT say that around 5,000 commercial vehicles were built last month, a drop of nearly 2,300 compared to the same month in 2018. The fall is attributed to a fall in export sales.

The overall fall in production hides a 6.5% increase in demand for domestic buyers. The industry is primarily focused on exports and thanks to international orders being down by close to 10,000 units in the year to date, overall volumes have fallen by 18% since the beginning of the year.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The relatively small volumes involved in UK commercial vehicle manufacturing make it particularly susceptible to model changes and fluctuating fleet cycles. However, for the sector to take advantage of the currently buoyant domestic van market and grow overseas orders, which still account for the majority of production, we need to maintain competitive trading conditions to encourage future investment.”

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