Truck production increased 2.2% in the UK in 2012, while commercial vehicle output fell by 6.8% and engine production held steady, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
A total of 112,039 commercial vehicles were produced in the UK last year, according to year-end figures. Engine output stood at 2,495,371 in 2012, a small 0.3% drop in the previous year.
More than half of all commercial vehicles built in the UK were put together by Vauxhall, the country’s leading producer for the eleventh year in a row. The manufacturer built more than 58,000 vans in the UK last year, nearly double that of its nearest competitor. The majority were put together at Luton, where 53,000 were built, and the remainder rolled off production lines at Ellesmere Port.
“We are very proud of our manufacturing bases here in the UK, especially as we enter our 110th year,” said Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director Duncan Aldred. “Vauxhall has been building and selling vehicles in Britain without interruption since 1903.”
SMMT Commercial Vehicle Development Manager Nigel Base said: “In 2012, commercial vehicle manufacturing in the UK declined 6.8% as a result of weak European demand and fragile business confidence. Looking in detail at the results, it is clear that while manufacturers of light commercial vehicles have had a difficult year, truck manufacturing has been strong. Here we saw output grow 2.2% with more than 15,000 units rolling off UK production lines, the news is even better for the UK’s bus and coach builders, which saw volumes rise more than 25% to exceed 2,300 units in the year.”
SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt said: “The outlook for 2013 remains positive with demand in many faster growing global markets offsetting the continued weakness in European economies. The £6 billion of investment committed to UK facilities, new model programmes and R&D signals a bright future and many new opportunities for companies in the supply chain. These remain extremely challenging times and it is essential industry and government continue to work together to secure long-term industrial growth.”