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Productivity in UK automotive manufacturing reaches all-time high, reports SMMT

Released today (23 April), the figures show that domestic production rose 1.9% in March with 144,893 cars built – the best March since 2006. Manufacturing output for the domestic market, meanwhile, rose almost a quarter, reflecting continuing strong demand for new cars in the UK.

New analysis by SMMT also reveals that productivity in UK automotive manufacturing is at an all-time high. Looking at the past five year period, 11.5 vehicles were produced a year for each person employed in the industry. For the period from 2005 to 2009, the figure was 9.3 vehicles produced per employee per year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “‘Built in Britain’ is more than just a brand: our automotive industry is increasingly competitive on a global scale. The latest production figures are yet more evidence of that, and with £1bn worth of fresh manufacturing investments announced by three UK manufacturers in March alone, the future is optimistic.

“Productivity figures prove that the UK is not only making a diverse range of vehicles which are in high demand around the world, but that manufacturers, supported by a flexible workforce, are producing them more efficiently than ever.”

John Leech, UK head of automotive at KPMG, commented: “New car production rose in March bolstered by new models such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and a recovering European car market which has grown for 19 consecutive months. 

“We expect new car sales will continue to accelerate this year as new models such as the Jaguar XE are launched and demand increases in most of our major markets.  Overall we anticipate a 6 per cent growth in UK vehicle production in 2015.”

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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.