With a total of 12,927 units assembled, UK commercial vehicle production nearly doubled in February, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This 98.4 per cent increase marks the most outstanding February performance since 2008, following a sluggish February last year plagued by supply chain disruptions, notably semiconductor shortages.

The boost in February's production was primarily fuelled by a substantial demand for British-made vehicles in international markets. Exports witnessed a staggering surge of 188.0 per cent, amounting to 10,011 units, constituting 77.4 per cent of all CVs manufactured during the month. Notably, over 97.6 per cent of these exports were destined for the European Union. Conversely, domestic market output experienced a slight dip for the second consecutive month, declining by 4.0 per cent to 2,916 units, though this equates to only 123 fewer vehicles.

UK commercial vehicle production, February 2024

“CV manufacturing has kickstarted the year with two months of impressive growth as robust overseas demand for British-built vans continues. The challenge now is to maintain this success amidst fierce global competition, accelerating production of zero-emission vehicles to enable the fast-paced delivery of these critical models. Strong performing economies at home and abroad will be key to this ambition,” Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented on the February results.

Year-to-date figures also reveal a robust growth trajectory, with 24,683 CVs produced in Britain, marking a substantial 56.4 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2023. Again, export volumes have been the driving force behind this growth, soaring by 104.5 per cent to 17,976 units. This represents an impressive surge of 9,184 units, while domestic market volumes decreased marginally to 6,707 units.

This surge in commercial vehicle production follows closely on the heels of a significant uptick in UK car production. According to recent data also released by the SMMT, car production increased by 14.6 per cent in February, reaching a total of 79,907 units. This marks the sixth consecutive month of growth and represents the most remarkable February performance since 2021.