UK commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturing saw its busiest July since 2015 this year, with output growing 9.3% according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

However the society warned that if this growth is to be maintained, the UK needs to “urgently” implement a green automotive transformation strategy.

The CV sector delivered 8,853 units for the month of July, whilst year-to-date production rose by 68% on pre-pandemic levels. However domestic market demand fell slightly in the month.

SMMT said growth was driven primarily by easing supply chain challenges and an ongoing rise in export demand, which swelled by 18.9% to reach 5,392 units.

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The EU accounted for the vast majority of the UK’s van, truck and bus exports, receiving 94.2% of all July output sent overseas. Conversely, production for the domestic market decreased slightly, falling by 3.0% to 3,461 units following particularly strong growth in 2022.

Following four consecutive months of growth, commercial vehicle production year-to-date is now up by 15.0% on the same period in 2022, with 67,528 units produced so far, continuing the sector’s best year for output since 2011.

Expansion has been driven primarily by exports, which are up 25.7% year to date to reach 43,195 units, while domestic output has held stable at 24,333 units.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “This year is turning into a real success story for UK commercial vehicle production with soaring exports and a steady, stable domestic market.

“However, with major markets making the transition towards zero emission vehicles, production must be prepared for long-term change. To secure ongoing success, Britain urgently needs a green automotive transformation strategy that shores up skills, delivers cheaper energy and attracts investment.”