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Downward trends in car production set to reverse next quarter

As well as the decline last month, the latest SMMT figures show that year-to-date production is down 1.4% at 262,645 units.

As export volumes rise (+3.5%), SMMT estimates the average car export value has risen more than 70% between 2007 and 2013, to over £20,000.

‘UK car manufacturing has been broadly stable over the first two months of 2014, dipping only marginally due to forecast product cycle changes,’ said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. ‘The significant increase in the value of car exports in recent years reflects the changing profile of the models produced and underlines the sector’s economic importance. With the effects of recent investments still to be fully realised, industry looks forward to providing an even greater contribution to the UK economy in the future.’

In response to the figures, John Leech, KPMG’s UK head of automotive, said: ‘These downward trends are expected to reverse next quarter as plants ramp up production of recently launched models such as the BMW Mini, Nissan Qashqai and Range Rover Sport. Production in 2014 is forecast to be higher than 2013 and forthcoming vehicle launches should see UK vehicle production increasing by a third by 2017.  

‘Investment in the supply chain continues as UK vehicle production plants continue to report difficulty in finding UK suppliers of a wide range of components, such as engine castings, steering systems and alloy wheels.  This is sparking a surge in M&A and capital investment which we expect to continue for the foreseeable future.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.