The number of commercial vehicles built in British factories grew by 64.4% in June, marking the highest performance since 2015.
Oversees demand has driven the boom in production, with exports accounting for six in 10 British-built commercials.
The strong performance means total output in the year to date reached 50,596 units, up 47.4% on 2021 and 16.6% above the pre-pandemic five-year average.
Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows output from January to June was the highest since 2012, as manufacturers increase capacity to meet strong demand from businesses and operators renewing their fleets.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The CV sector’s best first half performance in a decade is evidence of its resilience, as manufacturers strive to ensure orders for these vehicles, which are critical to the UK economy, are delivered in a highly challenging economic environment. At the same time, manufacturers are committed to building a growing range of more fuel efficient and zero emission vans, trucks, buses, coaches and taxis, an essential step towards achieving Net Zero, while ensuring society can continue to move.
“We must protect the global competitiveness of the sector amid these challenges, however, starting with measures to tackle energy costs, so that the UK continues to be among the world’s leading manufacturers for these vital vehicles.”
The UK’s commercial vehicle sector has been a consistent “bright spot” amid the gloom experienced by the automotive industry, according to the SMMT. Its global competitiveness is, however, not guaranteed, the organisation warned. It is crucial that inflation and energy costs are tackled with urgency, particularly as manufacturers continue to invest in production of the latest zero emission vehicles.