UK commercial vehicle (CV) production grew 26.5% last month, the best May performance for a decade thanks to exports increasing by 91.6%, according to new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
There were 7,900 new vans, buses, trucks, coaches and taxis produced by UK manufacturers during the month, continuing a strong start to 2022 with five consecutive months of growth.
Year-to-date, CV production is up 44% on last year, at 41,047 units, and some 29.1% up on the same period in 2019, making the best January to May performance since 2012.
While output for customers in the UK declined by 26.3%, production for overseas markets grew by 91.6%, partly due to greater demand following the end of many lockdown measures abroad.
Almost seven in 10 (67.9%) British-built CVs were exported in the month, with some 91.8% of these destined for the EU.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “The CV sector is a rare beacon amid the gloom of economic challenges being faced by businesses and fleet operators in the UK.
“With the best year to May output for a decade, and a growing number of zero emission commercial vehicle models for a wider range of use cases, there are grounds for optimism.
“However, competitiveness is not guaranteed as rising energy costs and inflation continue to have a detrimental impact on manufacturers and markets.
“These issues must be tackled head-on, to enable investment in innovation and training that will drive the CV sector’s transition to net zero, futureproofing jobs and livelihoods for years to come.”