The number of commercial vehicles produced in the UK fell by 70.9% year-on-year in April, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
However, despite the dramatic drop, the SMMT said this was not cause for alarm, with planned shutdowns to prepare for model changeovers the main cause.
Just 2,162 CVs were produced last month, compared with 7,423 in April 2018.
However, production was still up by 10.3% over the first four months of 2019 compared with the same period last year.
The SMMT said this has been driven by a rise in demand from the domestic market, although exports continue to be the major market driver, accounting for nearly 60% of demand, despite this figure having fallen in April to just 24.3%, the lowest level on record.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “While April’s decline is significant, production shutdowns make it an exceptional month, and the cyclical nature of the sector means caution is always advised when making monthly comparisons.
“With overall production still driven by exports – the majority to the EU – for this vital sector to thrive, we need to restore confidence and stability, and this means securing a free and frictionless trade deal with our biggest customer.”