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UK car manufacturing back on track in August

Latest SMMT data shows that a total of 99,910 cars were built in the UK in August – a rise of 40.6% over the same month last year.

Year-to-date output is now up 1.6%, passing the one million mark in August for first time since 2008.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The quieter summer months are traditionally subject to fluctuation as production is paused for essential upgrades, and August’s strong growth wasn’t unexpected given the 22.1% fall in the same month last year when the 2014 holiday period fell. The rise also follows a flatter July in line with this year’s earlier scheduled shutdown. That said, with an overall increase of 1.6% so far in 2015 and the strongest year-to-date performance since 2008, the industry is in a good position.”

John Leech, head of automotive at KPMG UK, commented: “It seems that the UK car industry has confounded summer traditions, with manufacturing figures passing the one million mark in August for the first time since 2008 and a 40.6% rise over the same month last year. Although this could be influenced by an earlier summer shutdown, the strong August figures are backed up by the fact year to date output is up by 1.6%, with a particularly strong increase within the home market at 11.1%. 

“The resilience of UK car manufacturing figures is apparent despite ongoing volatility in the global markets, and the high-profile challenges facing Volkswagen this week. This resilience has benefited from the £6 billion investment by vehicle manufacturers in developing long-term strategies to support new models and facilities in the UK. The increased capacity will service the continuing strength of UK market, as well as the export market across continental Europe.  

"Recent announcements for investment include Honda’s £200 million investment for the next generation of five-door Civic, Nissan’s investment to support production of the Q30 and QX30 models, alongside the almost continuous investment by JLR in UK facilities. Long-term, the UK should achieve its ambition of reaching record volumes within the next 24 months.“

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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.