Car production has risen in January for the second year running

Car production rises as commercial vehicles slump

Car production is up 1.2 per cent on this time last year but commercial vehicle manufacturing slumped.

A total of 129,049 cars were produced in the UK in January 2013 compared to 127,550 in January 2012, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

The car total performance last month was particularly notable as production had soared 15.6 per cent in January 2012 compared with January 2011 and last month's result was achieved despite some manufacturers extending their festive breaks into January.

Commercial vehicle production, however, fell 20.5 per cent last month to 7,822 and the SMMT warned that further falls can be expected throughout 2013 as Ford scales back its manufacturing.

Engine production also fell last month, going down 5.1 per cent to 219,757.

SMMT interim chief executive Mike Baunton said: "UK car manufacturing grew modestly in January when output is typically subdued as manufacturers extend holiday periods to upgrade plants and retool for new models.

"Despite on-going economic challenges, growing demand for UK-built products in emerging global markets, coupled with major new investment, is paving the way for a positive year for automotive manufacturing."

On commercial vehicle production, Baunton said: "Manufacturing of commercial vehicles in the UK covers a diverse spectrum of vehicles from light panel vans to heavy trucks, as well as minibuses, double-deckers and luxury coaches.

"UK registrations of trucks were strong through most of 2012, but dropped off in the final quarter, impacting output. However, domestic demand for buses and coaches grew significantly through 2012 on the back of government incentives and a wider focus on public transport."

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