The UK automotive sector’s productivity is world class and reliant on just-in-time deliveries. The disruption caused by the pandemic, ongoing supply issues and delays brought about by new trading arrangements with the EU have all thrown a spanner in the works. Maintaining competitiveness will be crucial to taking the CV sector to new heights.
However, the recent Government decision to postpone the implementation of full import customs controls from July to next January has met with a mixed response. On the face of it there is now much more time for businesses to adjust to one of the biggest changes in 40 years but, some companies had already managed to put in place the necessary arrangements, with all the associated resource allocation and cash flow issues.
As well as the uncertainty over imports it is currently difficult to interpret what the true position is with exports. Today’s publication of CV production figures for March makes this abundantly clear – although a slight recovery year-on-year, exports have slowed given renewed lockdown restrictions in other key markets and the need to adjust to new trading arrangements with the EU. Fleet renewal will be crucial to CV sector growth, so ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of the transition to zero emission capable technologies will help keep it an attractive and competitive destination for commercial vehicle manufacturing.
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