UK car sales recover and van registrations hit April record; eurozone ‘pulling out of recession’ – business live

Info seputar HK Hari Ini 2020 – 2021.

More van news… Stellantis, the owner of Vauxhall, has announced it will restart a third shift at its Luton van plant to take advantage of rising demand for commercial vehicles.

The carmaker, which was created this year from the merger of Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler, will produce cars around the clock once 400 workers return from furlough. It will also hire about 120 new workers as part of the plans.

The factory has a capacity of 100,000 vans per year. Production will start in June, although workers will be at the plant for training from May.

The company said it needed the extra shift:

“in order to satisfy the increased demand for the Vauxhall Vivaro, Opel Vivaro, Citroën Jumpy/Dispatch and Peugeot Expert light commercial vehicles.”

Stellantis earlier on Wednesday warned that computer chip shortages that have held back production are expected to worsen. It did not give any details about whether it will extend production at the Ellesmere Port plant near Liverpool, which is awaiting an investment decision.

UK van sales jumped to their highest level on record for an April, adding to the signs of pent-up demand in the automotive industry as lockdowns ease.

There were 30,440 new vans registered during the month, according to data also released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). That’s 23% higher than the pre-pandemic average, as well as an April record.

Vans make up a relatively small but important part of the UK manufacturing industry, with 1,200 workers at Vauxhall’s Luton van plant, as well as nascent electric van production from the likes of taxi maker LEVC and startup Arrival. Ford also designs its Transit vans in the UK.

The jump in sales to record highs contrasts with today’s slower – albeit marked – recovery in car sales, which remain about 13% below the pre-pandemic average.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said:

Businesses are investing in new vehicles as they grow in confidence, driven by a more positive economic outlook stimulated by the vaccine rollout. There has been particular uplift in larger van uptake, both from established demand in home delivery, but also more broadly as other sectors emerge from lockdown looking to maximise their payload efficiency.

With a fragile supply chain still subject to risk of disruption and ongoing Covid restrictions, there is some way to go before we can say business is back to normal, but after a very difficult year, the outlook is much brighter.