The United Kingdom's commercial vehicle production witnessed a remarkable surge in the first month of 2024. Figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal a staggering 26.9 per cent growth. A total of 11,756 vans, trucks, taxis, buses, and coaches rolled off factory lines in January, marking the highest output in 16 years and demonstrating a robust start to the year for the sector.

The strong performance in January represents a significant upswing, standing at 28.0 per cent above pre-pandemic 2019 levels. Export demand emerged as the primary driver behind this growth, with global appetite for British-built CVs soaring by 49.8 per cent to 7,965 units.

UK CV production, January 2024

Notably, nearly seven in ten (67.8 per cent) commercial vehicles were destined for international markets, with the European Union retaining its position as the UK's largest overseas customer, accounting for a substantial 97.4 per cent of exports. While exports thrived, the domestic market experienced a slight decline, with volumes dropping by 4.0 per cent to 3,791 units, equivalent to a reduction of just 156 units.

Looking ahead, the overall manufacturing growth trajectory is anticipated to continue throughout the year, with projections indicating a rise in light commercial vehicle volumes to 173,500 units. This optimistic outlook is buoyed by expectations of sustained growth, driven by new model activity and significant investments into zero-emission vehicle production within the sector.

The impressive surge in CV production reflects positively on the broader automotive manufacturing landscape. Just a few days ago, the SMMT also reported a total of 82,997 cars were produced in the UK in January this year, representing an increase of 21 per cent. Just like the commercial vehicle industry, most of the newly produced cars – 75.8 per cent of them to be precise – were designated for export purposes.