SMMT British car manufacturing up 15.5 per cent from last September

Madeline Ratcliffe
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British car makers have seen exports boosted by Europe (Source: Getty)

British car production is motoring away, with manufacturing in September up 15.5 per cent from last year.

A total of 158,281 new cars were made in September, bringing the total for the year-to-date to 1.2m, a 3.3 per cent year-to-date increase on 2014, according to the latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Production for the UK market increased the most, up by 20.1 per cent from September last year to almost 41,000, while export manufacturing increased by 13.9 per cent, to 117,307 cars made.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said:

After the regular summer break, manufacturing plants were back in full swing in September and the gains made by the UK’s car makers are positive. Particularly encouraging is the recent upturn in exports, which are higher than they were in 2014, reflecting growth in key overseas markets such as the rest of Europe.

The UK’s recent manufacturing successes are hard won and the sector will need ongoing investment and innovation to maintain global automotive competitiveness.

The SMMT has predicted British car manufacturing is on track to achieve record production levels by 2020.

Earlier this month the the trade body revealed that a record number of new cars were sold in September – 462,517 – a rise of almost nine per cent since September 2014.

It said the industry had sold more than two million new vehicles in the year to date, its best performance in over a decade.

Further supporting this strong trend, the ONS revealed that there had also been record car exports, worth £2.4bn, in August, which suggests British car-makers at least are managing to maintain exports in the face of weaker markets and a strengthening pound.

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