Commercial vehicle production in the UK declined 10.7% last month; largely the result of an exceptionally buoyant January 2019 but putting extra focus on calls for an ambitious free trade deal.
Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show a total of 8,202 units were manufactured in January 2020, down 352 units. However, the decline follows a remarkable 49.1% growth for the same month in 2019.
Commercial vehicle production for the domestic market was down 8.8%, marking the fifth successive month of decline in output for the domestic market and attributed to weaker business confidence and variable buying patterns.
A bigger 12.2% decline was seen in volumes of production for export; said to be largely due to slowing demand in key European markets.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK’s commercial vehicle sector is a key driver of economic prosperity, and to keep production lines rolling we need to create the right conditions that give operators the confidence to invest in their fleets. The upcoming Budget is an opportunity for the Government to announce measures to support the domestic market and at the same time, given the majority of UK CV output is shipped to the EU, every effort must now be made to agree an ambitious free trade deal that has automotive at its centre.”