UK exports drive car production record

Record numbers of cars were built in the UK last year for export to other countries, thanks to demand for the Mini, Land Rover and Japanese models, according to new figures

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 1.5 million cars were produced in the UK in 2007, a 6.4 per cent increase on the previous year, of which 1.1 million were sold overseas, a rise of 7.2 per cent.

Car production increased in December for the sixth month in a row, while output over the final quarter grew by 21 per cent, the biggest rise for over 20 years.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "Around 1.5 million cars and three million engines are produced in the UK each year, and these latest figures reinforce the UK's strength and breadth as a global manufacturing base."

Eric Wallbank, of consultants Ernst & Young, said: "Today's announcement is a great result for the industry in the UK and demonstrates how robust the sector remains despite the demise of MG Rover and the closure of Peugeot's Ryton plant in Coventry.

"Land Rover, as well as BMW's Mini, are seeing record production volumes and the Japanese brands of Honda, Toyota and Nissan in Swindon, Derby and Sunderland respectively are showing strong volumes on the back of new model introductions."

Image: The Mini and other popular brands boosted UK car output

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