Car manufacturing

Car production increases by 22 per cent

Car manufacturing in the UK increased by 22 per cent in July, the 13th consecutive month of growth, new figures show.

A total of 119,882 cars were produced in UK factories last month, taking the year-to-date total to 875,998, an increase of 15 per cent.

There were 9,004 commercial vehicles built, down by 1.3 per cent on a year ago, and 180,109 engines, 1.9 per cent fewer than in July 2011.

"Car manufacturing continued to perform well, with output up more than 22 per cent for the month and 15 per cent for the year to date," said Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

"While uncertainty in Europe remains a challenge, the £6bn investment committed to the UK in the last two years delivers long-term growth opportunities and the latest figures show that our products have enormous global appeal."

Commercial vehicle production was down 7.7 per cent for the first seven months of the year, while engine production was up 0.3 per cent.

Car production has shown some huge increases this year.

There was a 23 per cent increase in February compared to the same month last year, while in May it rose more than 40 per cent, mainly due to a fall in manufacturing last year as a result of the Japanese earthquake.

Almost 80 per cent of cars built in the UK are exported, the figures showed.

"The rise in UK car manufacturing figures is very welcome and shows that the UK can still be a manufacturing powerhouse," said Philippa Oldham, head of Manufacturing at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

"But while some industries like car and aerospace manufacturing are bucking the trend and seeing strong growth, recent figures show that UK manufacturing as a whole is still shrinking.

"The success of UK car manufacturing should motivate the government to take urgent action to support manufacturing so that we can see other industries become UK success stories.

"The government needs to work with industry and other political parties to develop a detailed manufacturing and industrial strategy with cross-party support.

"Industry needs this certainty and also needs greater access to capital investment in order to invest in new production plants, machinery and training."

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