UK car manufacturing hits six-year high

Halewood factory
23 Jan, 2014 12:01am Joe Finnerty

British car production is up 3.1 per cent and tops 1.5 million, the highest since 2007

Car manufacturing in the UK has hit a six-year high according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

British production rose 3.1 per cent in 2013, topping 1.5 million cars, the highest since 2007. Industry analysts don't expect the trend to slow either with output expected to reach two million by 2017.

It follows news that UK motor manufacturing had topped France for the first time since 1966The UK also posted five-year high new car sales in 2013 with 2.26 million new cars  registered – up 10.8 per cent on 2012.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said 2013 had demonstrated the value of the UK’s diverse car manufacturing industry.

He added: "UK automotive investment announcements exceeded £2.5 billion in 2013, reinforcing industry analysts’ suggestions that the UK could break all-time car output records within the next four years."

Figures showed while global export slowed by 0.9 per cent, the European market for British manufacturing was still increasing.

Also in 2013, China overtook Russia and the USA to become the biggest export market for UK-built cars.

Vince Cable, business secretary, said the latest figures showed the UK car industry was going from strength to strength.

"Our success lies in the appetite from countries around the world for British cars," he added. " It also highlights the benefits of industry and government working together and we want to continue this partnership through a long-term strategy."