UK commercial vehicle production increased 3.3% in September thanks to several large UK fleet orders, but year-to-date output remains down.
A total of 7,603 vans, trucks, taxis and buses were built in Britain last month, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), up by 240 units due to production to fulfil several large UK fleet orders.
Output for the domestic and overseas markets grew 9.2% and 0.3% respectively, with exports making up 64.6% of vehicles produced. Nearly all (95.5%) of the units exported overseas were for the EU market.
But the SMMT warned that total CV production in the year-to-date remained at a low level, down 16.8% on last year, with a shortfall of almost 9,000 units in the first three-quarters of 2020. Chief executive Mike Hawes said that the fluctuating fleet buying cycles were masking the underlying impact of the pandemic on commercial vehicles, and highlighted that it was the bus and coach sector bearing the brunt.
He also reiterated the need to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
“As time to agree a Brexit deal runs out, we need negotiators to keep up the momentum to agree an FTA that will safeguard the sector’s future competitiveness in 2021 and beyond,” Hawes stressed.