Rise in car output fails to quell fears of downturn

Motor industry leaders are calling for UK government support to shore up the sector

The number of cars made in the UK rose last month but industry leaders warned that tough times lie ahead for manufacturers.

A total of 142,606 cars were produced in September 2008, rise of 2.4 per cent on the same month last year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

The September total took the year-to-date figure to 1.18 million - a 4.2 per cent increase on the January-September 2007 total.

Commercial vehicle (CV) production also increased last month, rising 3.6 per cent to 20,675.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "UK production continues to demonstrate its strength and resilience, with output up in September.

"We already know that production is being scaled back to reflect demand in global markets and we will see this more clearly in the months ahead.

"It is essential that [UK] Government works with industry to protect vital manufacturing capability. This includes measures to support domestic demand and sustain longer-term investment in skills and new technology."

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