Home market drives up van production


New vans coming to market are driving up production at Britain’s commercial vehicle plants.

Britain produced 9,648 vans and trucks in March, 43.3 per cent more than in March 2014, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In the first quarter of the year, 23,435 commercial vehicles were produced, a 19.1 per cent growth, though admittedly following reduced output in 2014.

According to the SMMT this growth can be attributed to a particularly strong home market and a ramping up of volume production to meet the demand for new vans.

The UK’s CV sector saw a record quarter for registrations with 108,456 van and truck orders fulfilled. This has translated to a 63 per cent upturn in production of vehicles for the UK market in March and 37 per cent over the quarter, with light commercial vehicles accounting for more than four fifths of the output.

In further evidence of the sector’s return to form, the export market has also posted growth of 31 per cent in March and 3.9 per cent this quarter. This is in part due to a recovering European market, registrations up 8.8 per cent so far this year.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes is welcoming what he dubs a strong resurgence for the UK commercial market so far in 2015 after a subdued couple of years.

“Driving this readjustment is a home market invigorated by new product, increased consumer and business confidence, as well as an upturn in demand for UK-built vans and trucks across Europe,” Hawes says.

“This growth will help return the sector to a stable natural level following major restructuring of the industry in recent years,” he adds.

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Van Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars and vans for more than 20 years, and attends many new model launches each year.

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