This week’s full year figures from SMMT bring fantastic news, that UK commercial vehicle out grew by 39.3% in 2022, with 101,600 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches leaving factory lines across Britain.
It represents the UK sector’s best annual performance in a decade, and is testament to the determination and agility of CV manufacturers and suppliers, who were able to meet strong demand throughout the year – despite extremely challenging operating conditions.
Indeed, there were 11 months of consecutive growth from January to November, and while the first decline came in the final month of December, amid turbulence in global supply chains and logistics issues, it only highlights that growth is not inevitable but rather a hard-earned reward for the sector.
In the longer term, success is contingent on industry’s ability to remain competitive, particularly in energy costs, but also in the global race to net zero.
As such, making progress in these areas will be a top priority in 2023, as it was last year, with proactive measures needed to bring down the soaring cost of energy, as well as a long-term plan to secure investment in zero emission technologies.
Having visited and met with many CV manufacturers during 2022, it is clear that we have a highly talented, extremely dedicated sector, but we also need to equip our talented workforce – from manufacturers to suppliers and the aftermarket – with the latest skills to deliver the next generation of commercial vehicles that are arriving on UK roads.
The achievement of these core aims for the CV sector will, above all, be essential to keeping Britain, its industries and the economy on the move.
There are further reasons to be optimistic, as the growth in zero emission vehicle production in 2023 means that UK output is expected surpass 160,000 units this year, with the opportunity for the UK to become a leader in for zero emission CV production.
Key issues related to the green transition of the sector will be discussed in greater detail at SMMT Electrified 2023, which takes place in central London on Thursday 16 March. SMMT members qualify for a free place, so register today and take full advantage of the opportunities available.