UK commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturing grew 36.9% in May to 10,813 new vans, buses, trucks, coaches and taxis, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The sector’s performance was the strongest in May since 2008, passing its 10 year high for the month last year, and marking the second consecutive month of rising output.

Growth was driven by production for export last month, with a significant 48.1% rise in the number of CVs shipped overseas, at 7,943 units. Seventy percent of British-built CVs left UK shores and 93.6% of those were exported to the EU.

UK operator demand rose 13.1% to 2,870 units.

Manufacturers have made 46,927 units so far in 2023, up 14.3% year on year, and a significant 47.6% above that in 2019.

CV production volumes are due to increase further this year, reflecting less turbulent global supply chains and the launch of a new electric van manufacturing plant.

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Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “With ongoing growth in demand for British commercial vehicles, particularly from overseas markets, the sector is bucking challenging economic trends.”