The number of LCVs built in the UK leapt by 53% in February, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with 9,233 units rolling off production lines.

The SMMT said strong market incentives ahead of model changes helped boost the month to its best performance since 2012.

Growth was reported in demand from both the overseas and UK markets, which grew by 51.9% and 57.3%, respectively.

In terms of numbers, however, almost seven out of 10 LCVs were built for overseas markets, with most heading for the European Union.

SMMT boss Mike Hawes once more used the figures as evidence of the importance of the UK retaining good trading links with the EU post Brexit.

“While the positive news continues for UK CV manufacturing, it’s important to highlight that this low volume industry is cyclical and experiences large percentage swings when compared month-on-month,” he said.

“Although both demand at home and overseas has seen double-digit growth, still almost two thirds of British-built CVs are destined for export, the majority to the EU. This signifies just how vital a deal that retains free and frictionless trade with the EU is for this sector.”

In the first two months of the year, UK LCV production was up by 51.3% compared with the same and “particularly weak period last year”, the SMMT said.

The production growth for LCVs was in stark contrast to UK car production, which slumped by 15.3% in February.