UK car manufacturing surges in February image

Car manufacturing in UK rose 23.5% in February, up 19.6% over the year-to-date, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Thursday.

This marked a 19.6% increase in the year to date compared with 2011.

“The UK automotive sector continues to attract investment and generate new jobs,” said SMMT chief Paul Everitt.

Everitt also appealed for government help to maintain growth.

He said, “Despite recent success there can be no complacency and it is essential the Chancellor uses next week’s Budget to deliver on its growth strategy and boost the UK’s competitiveness by encouraging private sector investment in R&D, capital equipment and skills.”

Engine production grew too, by 3.6 per cent in February and 4.3 per cent over the year-to-date.
Commercial vehicle registrations suffered a slight drop, however, as business investment remains strained following a protracted downturn.

However, Europe-wide excess output is hurting profits, and the region’s carmakers want leaders to accept that they will need to close plants in order to compete.

The announcement comes shortly after business secretary Vince Cable visited Geneva to help persuade General Motors to keep its Ellesmere Port factory.

Car output UK Feb 2012