The turnover for UK automotive manufacturing rose 20% to £49 billion last year.
Output last year was up 27.8%, reaching pre-recession levels, while the number of vehicles exported was up 31%, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
Energy use per vehicle produced was down 8% while manufacturing CO2 emissions were down 10.5% per vehicle produced. Last year also saw new automotive apprenticeships up 9%, adding to the 737,000 jobs dependent on the sector.
SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "We are making significant steps towards creating a globally competitive UK automotive sector while keeping an eye on improving our environmental credentials to ensure a strong, long-term future for the industry.
"Manufacturing is vital to a rebalanced economy and cleaner, greener processes will support the transition to a low-carbon future."
He went on: "Automotive continues to attract major international investment, create high-value jobs and cut its environmental impact, but the UK must continue to compete on a global platform to secure future growth.
"We must incentivise private-sector investment in research and development, and training and equipment, and ensure our commitment to be a leader in low-carbon manufacturing supports our international competitiveness."
© 2011 Press Association