UK-made cars hit best total since 2008

UK car manufacturing in 2012 revved up to its best performance since 2008.

On top of that, UK-made cars sold overseas hit a record-high number, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In 2012, the UK made a total of 1,464,906 cars, which represented a 9.0% jump up from the 2011 total.

Out of the total, over 1.21 million cars were produced for overseas markets, which represented a 7.8% rise on the 2011 total and a record for UK-made cars for export.

Also in 2012 there was a fall of 6.8%, compared with a year earlier, in the manufacture of commercial vehicles (CV). The 2012 total was 112,039.

Also down in 2012, though only slightly, was engine production. About 2.5 million engines were manufactured in the UK, representing a 0.3% slip from the 2011 figure.

End-of-year car manufacturing was galvanised by a 6.2% increase in December when viewed against December 2011, though CV manufacturing fell close to 19% in December 2012.

"2012 was a very good year for UK car production with record levels of exports and volumes at their highest since 2008," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"The outlook for 2013 remains positive with demand in many faster-growing global markets offsetting the continued weakness in European economies.

"The £6 billion of investment committed to UK facilities, new model programmes and research and development signals a bright future and many new opportunities for companies in the supply chain.

"These remain extremely challenging times and it is essential industry and Government continue to work together to secure long-term industrial growth."

Also commenting on the latest UK car manufacturing data, Business Secretary Vince Cable said they were "a great tribute to our manufacturing strengths, particularly in the face of challenging trading conditions in Europe and strong international competition".

Mr Cable said UK car manufacturers are seeing success because they are making products people want around the world. He added: "We have a diverse and innovative automotive sector with some of the most productive plants in the world and a flexible, skilled and committed workforce.

"The Government is creating a highly supportive business environment to ensure that UK manufacturers continue to flourish as well as encouraging further investment in the UK automotive sector, including the supply chain.

"There is no room for complacency and to build on this competitive advantage we are working jointly with the auto sector on a long-term industrial strategy."

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