Despite ongoing uncertainty about the terms on which the UK will leave the EU on 29 March, CV manufacturing here grew 49.1% year on year in January, with 9,182 vans, trucks, buses and coaches built, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
"A number of large domestic orders and strong market incentives helped deliver the sector's best January performance for seven years," the trade group said.
Demand from both domestic and export markets saw double-digit increases, up by 97.4% and 25.3% respectively. A number of large fleet orders in the small volume UK market resulted in the doubling of home output. However, overseas demand continued to drive volume, the SMMT said, with almost six out of every 10 (56.3%) CVs built in the UK destined for export – the majority (96.2%) for EU sale. Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, "It's good to see UK commercial vehicle manufacturing begin the year on a high, with strong market incentives ahead of model changes and a number of large fleet orders having a big impact on this small volume sector. While domestic demand almost doubled in January, exports continued to account for more than half of output."