UK commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturing fell by more than two thirds (-69.9 per cent) in May, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 2,110 vehicles left production lines last month, with the substantial decline largely reflecting key model changeovers.
Production fell for both home and overseas markets, down -35.6 per cent and -84.8 per cent respectively, highlighting the sector’s reliance on exports. This second consecutive month of heavy loss meant year-to-date output decreased for the first time since September, down -6.3 per cent compared with the first five months of 2018.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, While key model changes and fluctuating fleet buying cycles were behind the second month of significant decline for CV manufacturing, we shouldn’t ignore the wider challenges facing the industry. The large decrease in output for overseas markets highlights the sector’s reliance on international trade, particularly with the EU, where more than nine out of 10 exports are headed. Future growth is pinned on a Brexit deal that guarantees free and frictionless trade.