UK commercial vehicle manufacturing fell 31.2% in July, marking the fourth successive month of downturn.
The figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that just over 5,000 commercial vehicles rolled off production lines last month, down 2,290 units compared to the same month in 2018, with the fall driven primarily by the reduction in exports, which fell 39.8%. Production for the home market also fell, by 16.8%, as model changeovers continued to affect factory output.
For the year to date, volumes are down 18.1% despite a 6.5% increase in production for domestic buyers, hit by a 30.7% decline in overseas demand, which accounts for the majority of output and was down by nearly 10,000 units.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, 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.”