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Falling business confidence hits UK commercial vehicle output

UK commercial vehicle manufacturing declined 16.7% last year, hit by fluctuating fleet purchasing cycles, alongside declining confidence among operators.

UK CV manufacturing fell 16.7% last year.
UK CV manufacturing fell 16.7% last year.

A total of 78,219 vans, trucks, buses and coaches left production lines, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with declines in both home and overseas demand, falling 25.0% and 10.8% respectively.

The fall in domestic demand saw output reach its lowest level since 2009, with 29,320 CVs rolling off production lines. Meanwhile a total of 48,899 CVs were produced for overseas markets, ensuring that exports accounted for 62.5% of overall UK production, up from 58.4% in 2016 and marking the largest proportion in eight years.

The EU remains the UK’s largest market, with 94.1% of CVs produced for international markets, and the majority bound for European Union countries.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “More than nine out of every 10 vehicles we export are produced for EU customers, underscoring the need for urgent clarity on the transitional arrangements for Brexit.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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