UK Commercial vehicle production fell 14.6% in January 2014, year-on-year, while passenger car production in the UK fell by just 0.3% over the same period, according to figures released by the SMMT.
Mike Hawes blamed the commercial vehicle fall on the new Euro-6 engine emission legislation which came into effect in January, adding "While van production was strong in the month, the 2014 market will, for some months, continue to be affected by the Europe-wide restructuring that occurred last year."
Total commercial vehicles produced fell from 7,822 in January 2013 to 6,681 for the same month 2014. Those produced for the domestic market fell 17.9% to 3,445, while those made for export fell 10.8% to 3,236.
For passenger vehicles, manufacturing for the home market fell 6.2% to 25,239, while vehicles for export actually grew 1.2% to 103,381. As a result, the percentage of vehicles made for export was 80.4%.
On passenger vehicles, Hawkes said "We expect domestic car output to accelerate throughout 2014 as new model introductions reach full volume. Looking further ahead, we anticipate further growth as investments by some of the world’s biggest automotive brands become reality, creating more jobs and huge opportunities for UK-based suppliers."
As a result of this, and the possibility of a European market recovery having a positive impact for overseas trade, SMMT analysts said they expect growth over the whole year.