Car makers report a 32pc fall in commercial vehicle production

THE UK motor industry’s trade association yesterday reported that commercial vehicle manufacture slumped by almost one-third in May as output was affected by restructuring.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) said that in May output fell by 32 per cent, while in the year-to-date, it was down 22.8 per cent. However, it was confident that production would stabilise in the late summer.

“UK commercial vehicle output continued to feel the effects of last year’s production restructuring with volumes down 32 per cent in May,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, as we look forward to the end of this impact in late summer.

“The next few months will also see new models rolling off UK assembly lines, which will help boost production numbers.”

SMMT also announced that there had been a drop of 4.2 per cent in engine manufacture last month, but put this down to a drop in car production caused by spring breaks.

There had been a 1.1 per cent fall in year-to-date output, but exports continued to grow and accounted for more than 65 per cent of year-to-date output.

SMMT noted that one-third of all engines supplied to Ford’s global operations were UK-made.