CV export boost fails to offset fall in domestic production

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UK commercial vehicle production fell by 4.7 per cent to 7,324 units in June, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Year-to-date figures also fell, down by 8.1 per cent to 43,782.

The bright spot was exports which were up 9.6 per cent in June and 11.9 per cent in the year-to-date.

Some 27,818 of the vans, trucks, buses and coaches built in the UK so far this year have been exported, bolstered by a strong European market.

It means that 63.5 per cent of all production in 2017 has been for overseas demand – the highest level in seven years.

However, this rise couldn’t offset the decline in domestic production, which fell -9.9 per cent in the first six months of the year.

SMMT chief Mike Hawes said: “While domestic demand eased following years of significant growth, these figures demonstrate the importance of exports to commercial vehicle manufacturing. With such high levels destined for overseas markets, the vast majority going to Europe, maintaining competitive trading conditions with our most significant partner will be vital to future-proof the success of the sector.”

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