The 7,799 commercial vehicles produced in the UK during September was a “modest increase” of 1.8% on 2020 but output remained 8.1% below the five-year average for the month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

Exports fell 12.4% but output for the domestic market increased by 27.3%.

Year to date production remained 15.4% up on a weak 2020, thanks to robust increases earlier this year, but down 19.5% on the pre-pandemic average.

Production had declined by over a third (35.1%) in August and September 2020 production volume was boosted by several large fleet orders.

This reflected the ongoing impact of the the semiconductor shortage, itself due in large part to the global coronavirus pandemic which constrained semiconductor output in many factories around the world.

Over the course of the year, export share has fallen from 56.3% to 51.5% of production as output for the home market has outpaced that for overseas markets.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Following last month’s decline in commercial vehicle production, the industry is back on track in September. The sector is not out of the woods yet, however, and it still continues to face challenges, primarily from the global shortage of semiconductors, which is set to continue into next year.”