UK commercial vehicle production continued its gradual increase in May, with more than 6,000 units rolling out of factories, according to latest figures.

For the second consecutive month, CV output saw a significant increase on the same period in 2020, when just 820 units left production lines.

The output in May also represents a 2.2% increase on the five-year average, although the SMMT said this should be viewed in the context of model changes in 2019.

Year-to-date, CV production has increased by 28.5% on last year to 28,510 units, driven chiefly by a rise in domestic demand, up 48.4%.

The SMMT said that while the domestic share of production continues to increase, the share of exports has fallen from 56.3% in 2020 to 49.5% this year, as new trading agreements and lockdown measures abroad continue to affect CV exports.

“May’s figures were always set to be exponentially higher than last year, as factories were forced to operate under limited capacity, or closed entirely,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“There was, however, some good news as production during the month surpassed pre-pandemic levels of output.

“For a full recovery, however, we need increased confidence not just in the domestic market but in overseas markets as well.”