Commercial vehicle production in the UK increased by almost 13% in July, new figures released reveal.
Following the news from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) that car production fell by more than a tenth in the seventh month of the year, the figures for commercial vehicle production highlight the demand that still exists from businesses.
For the month of July, a total of 7,331 commercial vehicles were manufactured.
This represents a 12.8% increase from the 6,499 produced in the corresponding month of 2017.
The data includes the number of vans, trucks and buses that rolled off production lines for the month.
Much like the example seen in car manufacturing, the main driver of this output came from exports, as overseas demand continued to grow.
At home, commercial vehicle production fell from 2,898 in July 2017 to 2,729 in July 2018.
This is a fall of 5.8%.
However, although there has been a decrease, the manufacture of commercial vehicles for the export market has more than compensated for this fall.
In July 2018, a total of 4,602 commercial vehicles were manufactured for export – up from 3,601 in July 2017.
It signifies an increase of more than a quarter (27.8%).
Moreover, it means that the percentage of commercial vehicles produced for exports has gone from 55.4% to 62.8%.
For the year to date, the percentage of exports followed the monthly pattern, with growth from 62.5% to 66.6%.
Up to now this year, almost 32,500 commercial vehicles have been manufactured for export – 3.4% up from the same time of 2017.
Overall in the year to date though, the number of commercial vehicles produced has fallen by 3%; this is mainly due to a 13.5% drop in the production of these vehicles for UK clients.
One of the main reasons for the disparity, according to the SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes, is the appetite for zero emission vehicles abroad – something that must continue post-Brexit.
He said: “Global appetite for the high-tech, ultra low and zero emission vehicles we produce is driving demand so it is crucial we secure the right conditions for future trade with our biggest market, the EU, including retaining the benefits of the single market and membership of the customs union.”