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UK car production sees sharp rise in April

The increase boosted year-to-date volumes 6.9%, with January-April exports up 8.7%.  

‘The thriving nature of the UK car manufacturing industry was evident in April as output grew at its highest rate for almost two years,’ said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

‘New model introductions are fuelling growth, while Europe – which currently accounts for around half of exports – is now seeing an upturn in demand. As investments continue to be realised, we expect further rises in the coming months; good news for the thousands of suppliers and employees across the country that rely on this industry.’  

Simon Heath, KPMG’s automotive M&A specialist, commented on the figures, saying: 'UK domestic demand remains robust and the improving economic conditions in the global economy, particularly in Europe, are driving an uptick in orders from overseas, with exports increasing by 8.7% year on year in April. Improving worldwide demand is particularly important to UK-based premium car manufacturers such as JLR, BMW and Bentley. This was further reinforced by Aston Martin yesterday, announcing a further 250 jobs at its Gaydon plant, part of a total £500m investment into future sports car ranges.

'The outlook through to 2017 looks strong, with a series of new models and increased capacity coming online. UK production is forecast to increase to 2 million vehicles by 2017, and this is attracting foreign investment into the UK’s supply chain. This increased investment is crucial and will enable smaller manufacturers to finance the anticipated uplift in production volumes.'      

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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.