The UK commercial vehicle manufacturing industry continued a strong 2022 with its tenth consecutive month of year-on-year growth in October. That’s according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which showed output was up by more than 10 percent compared with the same month in 2021.

A total of 8,740 commercial vehicles (CVs), including vans, buses, trucks and taxis, were produced in the UK last month, up 10.7 percent compared with the previous October. That also made last month the best October for the industry since the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020.

The increase came despite a drop in the number of vehicles produced for the UK market, with just over 2,800 CVs destined for customers in the UK. That’s a reduction of more than 28 percent compared with October 2021.

LEVC Van Production

However, production was sustained thanks to strong demand from abroad, where demand was up by more than half. More than 5,900 CVs were produced in the UK for foreign customers, with 94.5 percent of those heading to the European Union.

Despite ongoing supply issues that have dogged both the car and commercial vehicle sectors, UK CV production has increased in all 10 of the months of 2022 for which we have data, with November’s figures yet to be announced. Over the first 10 months of 2022, production is up by 45.5 percent compared with the same period in 2021.

2019 Vauxhall Vivaro Panel Van

Although that growth has predominantly come from the export market – the number of vehicles built for foreign customers is up 70 percent – there has been growth domestically, too. From the start of January to the end of October, the number of commercial vehicles destined for customers in the UK was up by 19.6 percent.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, welcomed the figures, but said the government needed to assist the industry in its bid to remain competitive abroad. Since the UK left the European Union, Hawes’ organisation has long been campaigning for “suitable trading terms”, as well as “a globally competitive business framework, which will bolster operator confidence”.

“Another month of growth for CV manufacturers is good news for the wider industry as it shows how the UK is well placed to build high-quality vehicles which support jobs, growth and exports,” he said. “While the industry looks to 2023 with some optimism, we cannot be complacent as sustained long-term growth is dependent on favourable operating conditions and a competitive framework for automotive manufacturing.”