Car makers report rise in production

CAR production increased by 5.8 per cent in September compared with a year earlier, suggesting continued improvement in the motor industry, new figures showed yesterday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 126,548 cars were built last month, bringing the total so far this year to 937,891, a 35 per cent increase on last year.

Commercial vehicle production rose 16.7 per cent in September to 11,339, taking the total to 91,527 this year an increase of 38 per cent.

Total vehicle production grew 6.6 per cent while engine production increased by 1.3 per cent last month to 229,209.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said he was encouraged by the Comprehensive Spending Review and the government’s continued commitment to the UK motor industry.

Everitt said: “Support for low carbon vehicles, skills and research and development will all help to sustain and encourage investment in the UK motor industry.”

He said plans to increase the availability of adult apprenticeships by more than 50 per cent, as part of the focus on skills and education, were particularly welcome.

However, he also expressed the car industry’s disappoint at plans to drop the hitherto sucessful train to gain scheme.

Last month, the SMMT said UK car sales fell by 8.9 per cent in August compared with a year earlier. However, overall the market remained 7.8 per cent up on the previous year.
It was the third consecutive monthly fall but had been expected due to the withdrawal of the car scrappage scheme. The £400m “cash for bangers” scheme, which was launched in May 2009 to boost falling car sales of new cars, paid drivers of cars that were at least 10 years old £2,000 towards the cost of a new vehicle, which ended on 31 March.