UK car production increases 37 per cent

Almost 78,000 cars were built in the UK last month, an increase of 37 per cent compared with August last year, figures showed today.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported healthy production figures showing a 41 per cent increase over the year to date. Commercial vehicle output increased by 22 per cent in August compared with last year and rose by 41 per cent in the first eight months, while engine production was up 15 per cent for the month and 27 per cent for the year to-date.

"UK vehicle and engine production continues to lead a strong manufacturing recovery," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. "The UK is an important part of the global automotive industry, exporting cars, commercial vehicles and engines to markets around the world.

He added, "There are still significant challenges ahead and Government must do all it can to encourage continued international investment in UK-based research and development, skills, plant and machinery."

A total of 77,882 cars were built last month, taking the total for the year so far to 812,687, with around 57,000 of August's production exported.

Mr Everitt said the figures showed continued improvement in car production, although it was still behind the pre-recession levels of 2006-07. There had been concern that the industry would be hit by the ending of the car scrappage scheme earlier this year, but the sector was moving forward quite strongly, he said.

Sales were increasing in countries such as the United States, China and India, while domestic demand for new cars was holding up, said the SMMT.

"We are moving in the right direction and also seeing more vehicle manufacturers wanting to increase the sourcing of parts in the UK," said Mr Everitt.

Exports increased by 51 per cent last month, accounting for almost three-quarters of the total production, today's figures showed. 

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