The best figures since June of this year, the commercial vehicle market is seeing a domestic bounce as the year-to-date figures for 2021 shows a healthy 15% on 2020 levels. With a weak October 2020, the figures show signs of a more stable market, although production is down 18% on the pre-pandemic average, showing that the market is still not at the normal level, in figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Ongoing Challenges and Uncertainty Noticeably Affecting the Market
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, has noted that the market is still in a period of flux. He argued that the growth in the market in October was ‘welcome news’ but noted that October 2020 was a weak month. He added, “The sector is not immune from the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic and, most notably, the semiconductor shortage, and there remains plenty of uncertainty in the months ahead. UK manufacturers are committed to doing all they can to keep production lines operational, getting the latest, cleanest commercial vehicles onto our roads while boosting fleet renewal will help improve air quality in urban areas.”
With 7,892 vehicles produced in October, this 17,2% increase in October 2020 is a step in the right direction. This however is a 6.9% drop on the five-year pre-Covid-19 average. The domestic market increased by 29.8%, while the export market saw an increase of 6.8% for October. This follows the results seen this year with the export share reducing from 56.1% in 2020 to 51.3% as the UK market starts to rev up.
So far, 58,813 commercial vehicles have been produced. Compared to October last year, the market was blighted by fleet renewal delay issues caused by the pandemic and uncertainty over a no-deal Brexit. This year, the ‘pingdemic’ affected the start of 2021, with the ongoing semiconductor shortage denting production.
As Hawes indicates, a growing push for greener solutions will improve the reputation of the market while helping keep the market operational and sustainable for fleets of the future.