In 2017, the commercial vehicle manufacturing sector in the UK saw a decline in figures by -16.7% as it saw, 78,219 vans, trucks, buses and coaches leave production lines, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The biggest change was seen in domestic demand, which saw a fall of -25.0%, down around 10,000 units over previous yearly total, making it the lowest figure since 2009. The decline we are seeing reflects a fall in business confidence and fluctuating buying cycles, which are obviously a natural feature of the market; but with added issues such as Britain leaving the E.U and the rise of E.V manufacturing it could be yet another year of the same unless the UK government can shed some light on what is to happen when we eventually agree on a Brexit deal.
Meanwhile, Britain’s overseas market production represented a fall of -10.8% to 48,899 commercial vehicles. Despite the decline, exports accounted for 62.5% of overall UK production, up 4.1% from 2016 – the largest proportion in eight years.
The news comes as UK Automotive insists the need for an urgent agreement on the terms of a post-Brexit transition deal. This must be comprehensive, result in no change and allow business to continue as usual until a new trading relationship with the EU is in place.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,
“Fluctuating fleet purchasing cycles, alongside declining confidence among operators in the CV market, affected production in 2017. British CV manufacturing continues to make a vital contribution to the UK economy, with an increasing proportion shipped to global markets. More than nine out of every 10 vehicles we export are produced for EU customers, underscoring the need for urgent clarity on the transitional arrangements for Brexit.”
Data and image from SMMT official website.