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UK car production up 2.3% in May

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the strong domestic market once again played a significant part with a 13.3% increase outweighing a small dip in production for export.

However, YtD production is down 0.8%, largely due to planned downtime ahead of new car launches such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Jaguar XE.

The SMMT said that the industry is gearing itself up for a more prolonged period of growth in the mid to long-term, as multi-billion pound investments will see new models hitting the production line.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “We have seen a steady performance in UK car manufacturing this year with volumes bolstered by a strong home market, while recovery in key European markets is helping to restore export production levels.

“Long-term, the picture is promising: ‘Built in Britain’ is still in high demand all over the world, with buyers attracted not only by iconic British brands but also by the high quality of our engineering. With a significant number of new models due to start production in the coming months, we anticipate a strong, sustained upturn in output volumes in the years ahead.” 

His comments were echoed by John Leech, head of automotive for KPMG UK, who said: “Further upcoming launches this year include the Honda Jazz and Vauxhall Astra so overall we expect UK production to grow in 2015 and again in 2016 and 2017.  We continue to forecast that in 2018 UK production will beat the all-time record set in 1972.”

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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.