But with passenger car and engine production also up both in November and the year-to-date, the SMMT said the figures indicated that the motor industry was leading a recovery in UK manufacturing.

“Despite the challenges in the Eurozone, the UK motor industry expects further growth in 2012,” said SMMT boss Paul Everitt.

In November itself the UK produced 11,380 CVs and the grand total in the year to 30 November was 111,743 units.

Of these 64,535 (58%) were exported – a fall of almost 18% year-on-year.

The volume of van production in the UK has recovered since the late 2009 lowpoint but is still well short of the level hit in 2008 when numbers for the rolling year were well above 200,000 units.