According to its leading automotive group, British car manufacturing output is on track to hit a six-year high of over 1.5 million vehicles in 2013 and further growth is likely next year.
Car production rose 4.5 % to 1.42 million units in the first 11 months of the year, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), driven by new models coming onto the market such as the third-generation Mini.
This year’s overall rise was helped by a 24.2 % jump in demand from the domestic market to 293,292 vehicles. A 3.6 % fall in output in November compared with the same month a year ago was due to some manufacturers preparing production lines for more new models, which will boost production in 2014.
Earlier this month the SMMT said the number of new cars registered in Britain had soared 7 % in November, the month’s highest increase since 2004, representing 20 consecutive months of rises in car sales.
Registrations are up 9.9 % so far this year and SMMT forecasts them to hit 2.25 million for 2013 as a whole. Also, the industry group expects annual car output in Britain to hit 2 million by 2017.
In contrast to the demand for cars, commercial vehicle manufacturing has slumped this year, mainly due to ongoing weak demand from Europe, with production falling 21.5 % to 82,535 units. November saw a 35.7 % drop, the SMMT said.