UK commercial vehicle (CV) production grew 92.2% in February 2022 to 8,278 vehicles but that compared with the worst February on record, in 2021, when supply chain shortages, new customs processes and prolonged lockdown measures posed significant challenges to production, the SMMT said.

February 2022 volume was down 10.3% on the 9,233 units built in pre-pandemic February 2019.

Last month, production for the domestic market rose 96.9% and export volume was up 87.9% with just over half 51.4% of all CVs built exported, with 93.8% destined for the EU.

British CV output was up 52.5% year to date at 15,138 units, although this was 7.8% down on the same period in 2019.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “After a challenging couple of years for UK commercial vehicle manufacturing output, it’s encouraging to see recovery as operators in key markets around the world get back to business.

“However, external pressures, including ongoing chip shortages, now exacerbated by a global squeeze on other key components and raw materials, alongside rising inflation and cost of production, will make getting back to pre-pandemic levels that much tougher.”