UK car production up 8% in January image

The UK car output has started the year with solid figures helped by a growth in exports, reporting the best January since 2008.

UK auto production rose 8 percent in January, boosted by strong demand from overseas, according to figures published on Thursday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. A total of 137,552 cars were built last month, which marked the best January performance for eight years. Increased foreign demand for British-built cars saw manufacturing for export grow for the sixth consecutive month with volumes up 9.7 percent, while production for UK customers grew 2.5 percent, an indication of the strong state of the domestic market, SMMT said. Around four in five cars built in the UK are exported.

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“January’s figures mark an encouraging start to the year for the UK car industry, following an impressive 2015,” Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said. “We expect output to continue growing in the coming years as the industry benefits from continuing investment, but much will depend on global economic and political conditions and consumer confidence.” The January performance follows a record year for exports in 2015, with total car production reaching 1.6 million, the highest in a decade.

As for the commercial vehicle segment, manufacturing rose by 24.4 percent in the first month of 2016, with 6,770 new vans, trucks, buses and coaches being made in Britain. The exports were up 65 percent on the same month last year, while production for the UK fell marginally by 1.2 percent.