Car production increased last month but commercial vehicle (CV) production slowed considerably, new figures revealed.
A total of 135,456 cars were made in the UK in March 2012 – a 0.3 per cent increase on the March 2011 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
"Car production held firm in March contributing to 12.3 per cent growth during the first quarter of 2012," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.
But CV production only totalled 9,648 last month – a 21.3 per cent drop on March 2011.
There were 227,957 engines made last month – 8.7 per cent fewer than in March last year.
Car production for the first three months of this year, at 401,134, was 12.3 per cent up on the January-March 2011 total.
But CV production in the first three months was down 9.6 per cent while engine production fell 0.5 per cent.
"Challenging economic conditions in mainland Europe are a concern, but the sector continues to win business in important and faster-growing export markets," Everitt added.
"The prospects for the UK motor industry are extremely good with new investment, commitment and jobs being created by global automotive companies."