Nissan Qashqai

Booming UK car production hits 14-year high in August

Nissan QashqaiA boost in car exports of more than 10% in August 2016 has seen UK car production reach its highest total for the month since back in 2002, the SMMT has today revealed.

Almost 111,000 cars were built in Britain during August 2016, growth of 9.1% over the previous year and further strengthening the British car industry’s rolling yearly output growth of 12%.

The lack of a post-Brexit recession has helped home demand hold up, with production for British customers up 6.2%. It’s the rise in exports of 10.2% that really helped grow UK car production during August, though – continuing a trend seen throughout the year, which is up more than 13%.

Year to date, 877,523 cars have been built in Britain and exported to other nations.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “August’s strong performance is good news for car makers and welcome news for the UK economy, which depends on this thriving sector for an increasing share of UK exports.

“British car producers are exporting a diverse range of high quality, attractive new models that are in demand across the world thanks to multi billion pound investments made in UK plants over the past few years.”

Hawes did sound a Brexit-themed warning, though. “Future success depends on continued investment in plant and products and that in turn depends on the UK maintaining internationally competitive business and trading conditions.” Politicians, he could have added, take note…

The growth of the British car industry over the past decade or so has been striking – and it comes after a nadir was reached in the mid-2000s following years of gradual decline.

Back in 2002, MG Rover was still a big British car manufacturer; its collapse in 2005 hit UK car production hard. But foreign investment has seen the industry recover since then and today’s figures for August 2016 are latest evidence of its continued growth.

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