Car manufacturers driven by exports

Tim Wallace
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MANUFACTURING received a much-needed boost in October as car manufacturing rose on increasing exports, according to figures out yesterday from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Car production was up 14.1 per cent on October 2010, and rose by 5.8 per cent on the year to date compared with the same period of 2010.

Exports shot up 19.6 per cent on the month and now represent 86.7 per cent of all UK-manufactured cars.

However, domestic demand for cars fell 12.5 per cent October-on-October and 32 per cent in the year so far compared with the same period of 2010.

Total vehicle output rose 12.5 per cent on last October, and 5.1 per cent for the ten months so far.

Of the 139,991 built in October, 118,199 ­– or 84.4 per cent ­– were for export, up 16.3 per cent on the previous October.

Engine production also expanded, rising 12 per cent on October 2010. Exports increased by 1.4 per cent in the segment, now accounting for 65.3 per cent of the total.

However, commercial vehicle production slumped, falling 2.9 per cent on last October’s output.

“Strong export demand for UK-built cars and engines is good news for the economy during this difficult period,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

“However, weak UK market demand is a cause for concern and makes it essential that the chancellor uses his autumn statement to help encourage private sector investment.”