UK car production has broken the 1 million mark just nine months into 2014 after September saw 137,068 cars added to the manufacturing total.
The September figure was actually down slightly, by 2.8%, because of planned new model retooling: this didn’t stop the year-to-date total’s continued growth though.
More importantly, planned new models are set to significantly increase this total into 2015 and beyond, predicts the SMMT, which has released the latest UK manufacturing figures.
It makes the 2014 year-to-date manufacturing performance the best since back in 2008.
Chief executive Mike Hawes said it was “testament to the strength of the automotive industry that it continues to break records – yielding the best year-to-date performance for six years and comfortably surpassing one million units.
“The continued investment by the sector into new models means the September figures took a slight dip as some plants underwent retooling but it is these same new models which will help increase production figures in the future.”
Looking at the figures, exports actually fell by 8.1% in September, contributing to a 0.1% fall year-to-date in 2014. Again, this is perhaps due to model changeovers, with cars such as the new Land Rover Discovery Sport due to come on stream.
Production for the UK market grew significantly, by 17.7%, but this was still only to 34,121 units. Exports of 102,947 means we still send three times as many British-built cars abroad as we actually buy here in the UK – meaning the British automotive sector continues to be a good news story for the UK economy.