Big increase in commercial vehicle production

DAF Trucks production line

Several factors have led to a recent surge in the production of commercial vehicles in the United Kingdom.

No doubt a boon for local manufacturers, employees, and the UK economy, new data shows in April there was a better 27% lift in the number of new vans, taxis, trucks, buses, and coaches that rolled off the nation’s production lines.

April was the fourth consecutive month of growth for the sector.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) keeps a tally on production numbers, their data shows 7,879 working vehicles left production lines, the UK vehicle production industry’s highest monthly total in seven years.

Growth was driven by a 58.0% increase in the number of vehicles built for export, with 4,723 units heading overseas.

Production for the UK remained relatively stable, down by just 32 units ( or 1.0%) year on year.

Meanwhile, the percentage of exports increased from 48.4% in April 2021, to 59.9%. Over the year to date, more than half (57.1%) of CVs produced have been exported, with more than nine in 10 of them (92.4%) destined for the EU.

One of the UK’s biggest commercial vehicle production facilities is the PACCAR-owned Leyland plant which produces a continuous stream of new DAF trucks.

“Thanks to significant demand from overseas markets, our CV output has not only increased on last year but has surpassed even pre-pandemic levels.” – Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive.

“This is testament to the resilience of manufacturers and evidence of the role the sector can play in the UK’s long-term economic recovery.

“There remain, however, significant challenges behind these headline figures, with the ongoing global shortage of semiconductors and the war in Ukraine impacting the global industry.

“Most pressing, however, are the soaring energy costs and rampant inflation, and Government must act urgently if we are to secure the future competitiveness of this critical sector and the jobs and livelihoods it supports.”