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UK commercial vehicle production down 25.6% in October

UK commercial vehicle production decreased by 25.6% in October, with 6,761 units manufactured.

Production both for overseas and domestic markets saw double-digit declines as the dual impact of Covid-19 and the risk of ‘no deal’ Brexit hit operator confidence

The figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show output for both overseas and domestic markets declined, by 21.1% and 30.4% respectively, as worries over recovery post-pandemic were compounded by the looming threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Factories turned out 2,326 fewer buses, coaches, vans, trucks and taxis than in the same month in 2019, as output for the domestic market fell for the first time since May. The number of units manufactured for export also decreased 21.1%.

Performance in the year to date has fallen 18.1% overall, with a shortfall of 11,256 units in the first 10 months of the year. In all, just over 50,000 new commercial vehicles have been made in Britain this year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “These figures demonstrate the immense pressure the commercial vehicle sector is under in these unprecedented times. During the pandemic the industry has stepped up, flexing to meet demand while, as always, putting safety first. CV output is decreasing, however, and orders at home and overseas are down as operators delay fleet renewal due to Covid pressures, exacerbated, in the UK at least, by Brexit uncertainty.

“Mass fleet electrification and economic recovery will only come if we can ensure the long-term competitiveness of UK Automotive. This starts with a favourable Brexit deal, with zero tariffs and rules of origin that encompass not just existing products but the next generation of zero emission capable technologies.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.

Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.

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