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UK commercial vehicle production falls on back of bumper 2019

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.

The 10.7% decline in UK CV production in January was largely the result of an exceptionally buoyant January 2019 but puts 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.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has nearly 20 years of fleet journalism experience, 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.

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