Record UK car exports push production higher, data reveals

UK car production has hit a four-year high on the back of record exports, a report revealed Thursday.

UK car production has hit a four-year high on the back of record exports, a report revealed Thursday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said UK factories built 1.46m cars last year, of which 1.2m were shipped overseas.

Total vehicle production in the UK increased 8% last year to 1.58m units, the highest level since 2008, and exports climbed 8%. Car output increased by 9%.

The results come one day after a separate report showed car sales in Europe hit a 17-year-low last year.

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, expects the strong performance in the UK to continue this year.

"The outlook for 2013 remains positive, with demand in many faster-growing global markets offsetting the continued weakness in European economies," said SMMT head Paul Everitt.

"The £6bn of investment committed to UK facilities, new model programmes and (research and development) signals a bright future and many new opportunities for companies in the supply chain.

"These remain extremely challenging times and it is essential industry and government continue to work together to secure long-term industrial growth."

Business Secretary Vince Cable said it was encouraging to see a rise in trading despite a deep slump in the Europe market.

The UK's diverse and innovative automotive sector have proved a success, he added.

"News that UK car production increased by 9% in 2012 and exports are at record levels is a great tribute to our manufacturing strengths, particularly in the face of challenging trading conditions in Europe and strong international competition."

RD

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