UK car production up 6.5% last month

Britain's car manufacturing output has continued to climb above last year's levels, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

There were 137,028 cars produced in the UK during October, which showed an increase of 6.5% when compared to the same time last year.

The SMMT said the year-to-date figures had also bolstered the economy this year, with British-based car production up by 9.7% on last year in the 10 months to October.

The overall trend this year suggests that British-built cars could be enjoying an overdue renaissance on home soil, with domestically-built vehicle sales up 18.1% compared to last year - thanks largely to carmakers like Jaguar Land Rover, which released the hugely popular new Range Rover Evoque earlier this year.

Total commercial vehicle production also rose last month, although the year-to-date figures slumped 6.1% against those recorded in 2011.

The number of British-built commercial vehicles exported last month was 6.5% down on last year, while domestic sales fared marginally better to post a year-to-date decline of 5.6% when compared to October 2011.

Engine output, which holds the lion's share of the market when it comes to vehicle-related exports in the UK, grew by 1.2% in October, but that was not enough to save it from posting a 0.2% drop in the year-to-date comparison.

Engine exports slumped 6.5% in October, taking the year-to-date deficit to 12.5%.

This was offset by the amount of engines imported from overseas, with October witnessing a 15.7% rise in imported engines, resulting in a 30.3% decline when compared to this time last year.

Paul Everitt, the SMMT chief executive, said: "The UK automotive industry got back on track in October with vehicle manufacturing up 6.4% and a 1.2% increase in engine output.

"Sustained, high-value investment in R&D, facilities and new products is paving the way to a prosperous future for UK automotive, but there remain significant challenges as European market demand remains weak. It is essential government continues to focus on boosting economic growth and enhancing UK competitiveness."

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