Exports of British-built commercial vehicles (CVs) jumped by more than a third last year, with almost nine in 10 destined for EU countries, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Britain exported 47,052 of the 94,479 CVs it made in 2015 – up 34.7% year on year, and accounting for half (49.8%) of overall production. Of these, 41,428 (88%) went to markets within the EU.
The SMMT said the data was a further indication of the recovery of Britain's CV sector, driven by resurgent European markets where new registrations increased 12.4% in 2015.
Second in the export destination rankings was Asia, accounting for 6.3% of exports, followed by Oceania (2.4%), non-EU European countries (2.1%), Africa (0.6%), and North and South America (0.4%).
British CV manufacturing is in demand worldwide, with varying trends emerging within different market segments. Almost three quarters (71.6%) of CVs exported in 2015 were vans, all destined for the EU, while Europe was also the biggest market for light 4x4s and smaller, rigid two-axle trucks.
While two thirds (66.5%) of buses built in Britain were sold here, particularly strong demand for double-deckers in Asia resulted in 90.3% of UK bus exports, 1,025 vehicles, being shipped to the region.
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Large trucks, meanwhile, were most popular in Oceania, with 76.8% of the rigid 3/4-axle and articulated trucks exported from the UK in 2015 finding a home there.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "British-built vans, trucks and buses are playing an increasing role in the global economy, with vehicles being sent to countries on every continent. The growth in overseas demand for high quality commercials is a huge credit to Britain's commercial vehicle makers."