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Light commercial vehicle manufacturing increased in May
Light commercial vehicle manufacturing increased in May

Light commercial vehicle manufacturing increased in May

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) reveal that the number of light commercial vehicles produced in May has increased.

According to the latest figures, the pattern shows that businesses are still growing their fleets, with the number of light commercial vehicles manufactured so far in 2018 at “historically high levels.”

This trend has been described as “reassuring” by the Chief Executive of the SMMT, as it suggests there is stability in the van market.

Specifically, the mid-size and larger vehicles are the ones thriving in the month of May, which has also managed to offset the fall in production of vans at the smaller end of the spectrum.

According to the figures for May, the number of light commercial vehicles that hit Britain’s roads stood at 27,639 – a rise of 2.4% from the same month of 2017.

Breaking that figure down further, the vans that are less than two tonnes decreased in May by 21%.

However, as previously mentioned, this was offset by increases elsewhere; vans between 2 – 2.5 tonnes rose by 21.5% and for 2.5 – 3.5 tonnes, this increased by 2%.

Elsewhere in the figures, the production of rigids – which are heavier than 3.5 tonnes and go up to six tonnes – grew by almost 71% in May.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, is expecting growth to continue this year, but stressed businesses need to be given the confidence to continue investing.

He said: “It’s reassuring to see a bit of stability in the van market. Variations in buying cycles are a natural feature and, despite the year-to-date decline, it’s important to remember that demand remains at an historically high level.

“Barring any unforeseen shocks, we expect the rest of the year to follow a similar pattern, in line with forecasts.

“To drive long term growth, however, we need the right economic conditions to give businesses the confidence to invest in their fleets.”

The rise in light commercial vehicles in May follows the trend set by electric vehicles for the month too, suggesting councils and businesses are continuing to build their fleets.

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