UK commercial vehicle (CV) production was up 39.6% year-on-year in June, but registrations are still significantly below the five-year average new figures have revealed.
Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that production grew to 5,808 units in June, although comparisons with 2020 are not indicative as a year ago many plants were operating at reduced capacity because of COVID pandemic restrictions.
However, overall production for the first half of the year rests at 20.9% below the average recorded over the previous five years, as production was impacted by a prolonged UK-wide lockdown from January to March, along with on-going shortages within the supply chain and workers increasingly requiring to self-isolate.
Exports of commercial vehicles over the year to date have also suffered, down to 48.1% of production, from 57.4% over the average recorded before the pandemic. Overseas markets underwent their own COVID-related restrictions, affecting business confidence, but domestic demand increased in support of the UK’s economic recovery.
“After a tough start to the year, commercial vehicle production is steadily recovering against a backdrop of increased demand, but still remains short of previous years,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “The shortage of semiconductors continues to impact on output, and the sector faces a significant challenge as increasing numbers of workers find themselves being asked to self-isolate. However, van production levels remain strong, and recent long-term investment announcements will ensure the UK retains a healthy commercial vehicle manufacturing sector.”