UK commercial vehicle manufacturing increases

Whilst everyone talks about the passenger car production here in the UK, not much is ever mentioned about our commercial vehicle production which, on the light side, is mainly but entirely, centred around the Stellantis plant ( Formally the Vauxhall factory) in Luton and a few Land Rover commercial vehicles and on the heavy vehicles at the Paccar factory in Leyland. Although it looks like this will change with the recent announcement that Stellantis will also convert the Ellesmere Port factory which currently produces the Vauxhall Astra into a light commercial vehicle assembly plant.

UK commercial vehicle production numbers

The good news is that commercial vehicle production has grown by 5,808 units in June according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This represented an increased in production of 39.6% compared to the same month in 2020, when obviously many plants were operating at reduced capacity due to the COVID restrictions.

But its not all good news, if compared average production for the last five years the second half of 2021 is around 21% down on those figures as production was impacted by a prolonged UK-wide lockdown from January to March, and on-going shortages within the supply chain and workers increasingly requiring to self-isolate.

Land Rover Discovery Commercial

Exports of commercial vehicles

Exports of commercial vehicles over the year to date fell to 48.1% of production, which is only slightly down from 57.4% over the average recorded before the pandemic mainly due to the overseas markets undergoing their own COVID-related restrictions obviously affecting business confidence.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “After a tough start to the year, commercial vehicle production is steadily recovering against a backdrop of increased demand, but still remains short of previous years. The shortage of semiconductors continues to impact on output, and the sector faces a significant challenge as increasing numbers of workers find themselves being asked to self-isolate. However, van production levels remain strong, and recent long-term investment announcements will ensure the UK retains a healthy commercial vehicle manufacturing sector.

Click here to read about the van sales figures