Car production drives towards a six-year high

Chris Papadopoullos
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UK CAR manufacturers accelerated to their strongest first nine months of a year since 2008, data published this morning has shown.

So far this year, 1,132,017 cars have been produced, according to the figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The year-to-date figure marks a 0.6 per cent increase on the 1,125,674 cars produced in the first nine months of last year.

“It is testament to the strength of the automotive industry that it continues to break records – yielding the best year-to-date performance for six years and comfortably surpassing one million units,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“The continued investment by the sector into new models means the September figures took a slight dip as some plants underwent re-tooling but it is these same new models which will help increase production volumes in the future.”

September production slowed by 2.8 per cent compared to last September.

Comparing year-on-year numbers for last month, export sales fell significantly – by 8.1 per cent. However, a 17.7 per cent increase in domestic sales rescued the overall production figure. Exports tend to make up around 75 to 80 per cent of total sales.

The fall in exports may be due to the renewed weakness of the Eurozone economy which began over summer. The Eurozone is the UK’s largest export market.

The rolling year total of cars made continues to climb and now exceeds 1.5 million units. More cars have thus been made in the last 12 months than at any other time since 2009.