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UK car output up 50pc in May

UK car production surged 54 per cent last month, compared to May 2009, signalling an underlying stability in the car industry.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that 104,365 cars were produced last month, marking a sharp upturn from the same time last year when companies like Honda temporarily suspended production due to low demand.

“The recovery in UK vehicle and engine production continued for the seventh consecutive month, with commercial vehicle output more than doubling against a weak 2009,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

The SMMT said 74,400 cars were exported during the month of May, marking a 37.8 per cent rise on May the previous year. In total, 371,570 cars were exported in May, while a total of 409,280 vehicles have been exported so far this year.

Also, commercial vehicle output climbed by 55.7 per cent during the first five months of the year, but more than doubled last month when 10,745 vehicles were produced.

Meanwhile, engine manufacturing saw a boost in production numbers, rising 35.9 per cent to 206,023 during May and 40 per cent to 1,032,169 during the year.

Everitt however remains cautious about the future of the UK’s vehicle production industry. He said: “There is concern that fiscal consolidation across Europe may impact demand in the months ahead and it is important that next week’s budget helps to sustain consumer and business confidence, as well as encouraging UK investment in new technology and advanced skills.”