Strong first quarter from UK’s exporting car manufacturers

Tim Wallace
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THE MANUFACTURING sector has received a strong boost from carmakers, as industry figures yesterday showed the 11th consecutive month of output growth.

Car output rose 0.3 per cent in March, taking growth over the first quarter to 12.3 per cent.

A total of 135,456 cars were made in the month, with 79.6 per cent – 107,785 – produced for export.

“Challenging economic conditions in mainland Europe are a concern, but the sector continues to win business in important and faster growing export markets,’’ said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

“The prospects for the UK motor industry are extremely good with new investment, commitment and jobs being created by global automotive companies.’’

Exports were particularly strong to countries like Russia and Brazil.

However, commercial vehicle output fell 21.3 per cent on the month and 9.6 per cent on the quarter, and engine production dropped 8.7 per cent in March, acting as a drag on the sector.