Foreign demand continued to fuel production, with commercial vehicle output for overseas markets showing substantial growth compared with January 2015. Exports were up 65% on the same month last year.
However, production for the UK was down marginally by 1.2%.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “CV production got off to a great start in January, with output up by a quarter on last year.
“Recovery in Europe continues to benefit the sector, driving production for export up an impressive 65% last month, with more than half of all commercial vehicles in January produced for international markets.”
The UK automotive industry as a whole accounting for more than £69.5 billion turnover and £15.5bn value added.
With some 160,000 people employed directly in manufacturing and more than 799,000 across the wider automotive industry, it accounts for 11.8% of total UK export of goods.
More than 30 manufacturers build in excess of 70 models of vehicle in the UK supported by around 2,500 component providers.