UK car production soars 7.5%

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UK car manufacturing climbed 7.5% last month - a total of 136,051 cars were produced, with commercial vehicles production numbers also rising, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). In total for the year so far, car production is up almost 5% on January to September 2010 comparables. Why the uptick, given the confidence wobbles?


Overseas push

"Major new investment by vehicle manufacturers is opening up opportunities for UK-based suppliers, helping to drive the economic recovery and private sector investment," says SMMT boss Paul Everitt.

That includes the likes of Jaguar Land Rover which is investing more than £350m in the Midlands to produce high-tech 'green' engines, which should provide more than 700 new jobs. Much of the production growth is down to overseas demand. Last year we exported 75.7% of all cars made here.

Perspective

Car production in the UK is driven by NIssan, Mini, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover. The positive reception the Land Rover Evoque has garnered should encourage Jaguar Land Rover, and its owner TATA. The Nissan Qashqai has also performed strongly. Last year it made up more than half of Nissan's overall UK car volumes last year.

However, though the figures of the last 18 months or so are good, they come behind some pretty hard falls. Car production slumped more than 30% in 2009. And commercial vehicle production tanked by 55% overall in 2009. So we're still making up for quite a lot of lost ground.

Let's hope global - or rather Asian - demand continues, as demand in the UK and Europe remains weak.

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