UK commercial vehicle (CV) production increased by 18.5% in 2023 to 120,357 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Output reached its highest level in 13 years as global supply chain issues and pandemic related challenges eased, allowing manufacturing to get back on track.
Major investments were delivered throughout the year, including the start of volume electric van production at the Stellantis plant in Ellesmere Port, and December wrapped up a successful 12 months with strong uplifts in output for both domestic and export markets.
Exports were responsible for the bulk of growth over the year, with global demand rising 25.8% to 76,953 units. But 63.9% of production was for foreign markets, up from 60.2% in another 13 year high.
The EU was, as usual, the biggest market, accounting for 94.2% of all CV exports or 72,461. Australia took 1,085 and the US 1,016 units respectively.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The best performance for UK CV manufacturing in more than a decade confirms the industry’s recovery and the sustained demand for our high quality vehicles.”
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Further growth is expected in 2024, with light commercial vehicle volume rising to 173,500 units and holding broadly steady ahead as the sector benefits from new models and a boost to electric van production.