UK car production grew for the ninth month running in April 2016 – but it was demand from overseas, particularly Europe, that drove this growth, as British buyers actually bought fewer cars built in Britain last month.
Nearly 150,000 cars were built in Britain last month, an increase of 16.4% on 2015. However, cars built here for UK buyers actually fell by 8%, to fewer than 28,000 cars.
It was demand from overseas for British-built cars that swelled production here: demand was up 23.7%, to nearly 122,000 cars. This means that 81.5% of cars built in Britain were exported, up from 76.7% last year.
And where are the majority of them heading? To Europe, which the SMMT says is by far our biggest export destination.
“Britain’s car manufacturing sector continues to thrive with a steady domestic market and surging demand from overseas,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.
“This growth represents a significant endorsement of the strength and quality of the UK automotive industry.”
The SMMT adds that 160,000 Brits are directly employed in automotive manufacturing, which accounts for 11.8% of all UK exported goods value. This adds £15.5 billion of value to the UK economy and the industry helps support almost 800,000 jobs in total.