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2018 Commercial Vehicle Manufacturing

2018 Commercial Vehicle Manufacturing

You’ll have noted; there’s a lot of doom and gloom around at the moment. With concerns over the economy, political strife and our relationship with Europe, you’d think there’s no positive news to fuel our optimism.

Bucking this trend, news from the commercial vehicle manufacturing sector shows that 2018 was a very successful year for the sector. And while there may be rocky times ahead the past year has been a high water mark for the commercial vehicle body builders industry.

Here are the headlines.

Strong Figures

According to data from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), commercial vehicle manufacturers in the UK rose by nearly 10% in 2018. Vehicles totalling 84,888 left British production lines, a year on year uplift of 8.5%.

There was a stronger performance in both the domestic and export markets. Homegrown demand rose by 17.9%. That amounts to 5,248 commercial vehicles bought by UK operators.

Commercial vehicle manufacturing for export markets increased by 2.9% meaning that 50,320 vans, trucks, taxis and buses built in the UK went to overseas markets. That’s almost 60% of total UK production. Of these, 93.6% went to the EU with 2.3% entering Asian markets.

The year concluded on a high in December, with commercial vehicle manufacturing up 79.2% with production for home and exports being up 175.6% and 40.1% respectively.

Overall, an excellent year for the industry. With clear benefits experienced across the whole of the UK’s commercial vehicle body builders sector.

2019 In Prospect

Clearly, despite this encouraging news, there are challenges ahead with the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit and the impact this may have on the commercial vehicle manufacturing industry. SMMT Chief executive Mike Hawes commented:

"Commercial vehicle production ended 2018 on a very positive note, with strong deals ahead of some important model changes securing significant growth in December resulting in a boost to annual volumes.

Hawes also expressed cautious optimism regarding the European question stating:

“With Europe accounting for more than nine out of every ten commercial vehicles we export, it is clear that maintaining a beneficial trading relationship with the EU is critical. This means securing a deal that will allow this vital sector to continue to thrive."

Quality Always Sells

While the question of our relationship with Europe rumbles on, businesses can only watch and wait as the situation develops. In response, the team at Truckcraft bodies will do what they do best and continue to design and build the highest quality truck bodies in the commercial vehicle body builders sector.

That way our company will be ready for the changes ahead safe in the knowledge that no matter what the market conditions, quality always sells. And at Truckcraft Bodies that’s what we do, produce top-notch truck bodies that are the finest in the commercial vehicle body builders industry.

If you’d like more information on our market-leading truck body portfolio to contact the Truckcraft Bodies sales team on 0161 304 9404. Alternatively, email or

Published: Feb 14

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