In unambiguous figures laid out by the SMMT, production dropped heavily in August to 3,179 commercial vehicles, which is a 20% drop when compared to the five-year average. In context, while year-to-date production is up 18.2% on 2020's total, it’s 21.2% down on the pre-pandemic average, showing a market still suffering from industry setbacks.
Market Suffers Industry Issues and Summer Shutdowns to See First Monthly Drop in Five Years
Commercial vehicle production has taken a tumble amidst semi-conductor shortages as well as some summer shutdowns, proving that Covid-19 is still affecting the industry. Whilst the year-to-date figures are an improvement on 2020's figure, the industry has shrunk by 20% when compared to pre-pandemic levels.
When comparing this year’s August to the previous year, the figures mean that domestic production takes a 52.3% tumble and exports suffered a 19.3% reduction. In the context of a year-to-date comparison with 2020, the domestic market has seen a 28.1% rise and a small 10% rise in the export market.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said of the figures: After five months of consecutive growth, it is disappointing to see the steady recovery of the commercial vehicle sector stall in August. This is primarily due to the global shortage of semiconductors, which continues to challenge the industry. With the lack of available chips expected to continue beyond next year, manufacturers will need to fight to keep production lines operational as they look to ensure that the newest and greenest zero-emission capable commercial vehicles, suit the needs of both operators and drivers, are made in the UK.”