UK commercial vehicle production rose to 6,243 units in May, representing a 661.3% year-on-year leap (just 820 vehicles were built in May 2020 due to lockdown) and an increase of 2.2% on the five-year average, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The organisation said the rise “must be viewed in the context of important model changes in 2019” but added that it was fuelled mainly by an increase in demand from UK operators, as vehicles destined for British operators were up 48.4% to 14,398 units so far in 2021.
Exports rose by 13.1% to 14,112 units, but the SMMT said the share of exports had fallen from 56.3% in 2020 to 49.5% this year, due to post-Brexit trading agreements and overseas lockdowns.
“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 chief executive, Mike Hawes.
“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.”