Europe: British car production up 1.9 percent in March image

The United Kingdom is a major European production hub, so its positive results give us a positive indicator of the overall health of the auto industry on the continent.

Automotive production in the United Kingdom last month soared 1.9 percent to 144,893 units, also posting the best figure for the month since 2006, according to the British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). On the other hand, after the first three months of the year the situation is negative, with overall production quota down 0.6 percent to 402,193 autos from the same period in 2014. “New car production rose in March bolstered by new models such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and a recovering European car market. Overall, we anticipate a 6 percent growth in UK vehicle production in 2015,” commented John Leech, a UK-based analyst at KPMG. Entirely new models, such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport, were key to the increased British car production seen last month. The SMMT added that exports of UK-produced models slid almost 7 percent, but the slowdown was compensated by the internal production needs, with the fast-rising UK auto market triggering a 22 percent rise in production during the first three months, compared to last year.

The industry body also said the productivity in the auto sector has been on the rise, with an average quota of 11.5 units of vehicles produced per employee annually during the past half decade – which is 25 higher than the previous five-year period. That’s in contrast to the UK industrial market, which is facing a productivity growth slowdown since the financial crisis, raising concerns about the long-term sustainability and stability of the country – which has been dropping behind other industrialized markets.

VIa Automotive News Europe