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UK car production tops 1 million after September boom

The already healthy UK car manufacturing industry took another upswing in September according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Figures show that total production for September was 140,888 units. This is a 9.9% rise on the same month last year. The boom month has lifted total production for 2013 so far to 1,125,433. As a rolling total, the year to September had total car production of 1.5 million, which is the highest rolling year figure since October 2008.

The already healthy UK car manufacturing industry took another upswing in September according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Figures show that total production for September was 140,888 units. This is a 9.9% rise on the same month last year. The boom month has lifted total production for 2013 so far to 1,125,433. As a rolling total, the year to September had total car production of 1.5 million, which is the highest rolling year figure since October 2008. Exports continue to perform well, with a 9.3% rise on last year's figures. The exports of luxury British cars to Russia and China are particularly driving growth.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, commented: "Boosted by strong domestic demand, September's 9.9% rise in car manufacturing reinforces how the sector is one of the UK's biggest success stories of recent years. This year alone, more than £2.6 billion has been committed across the UK automotive sector, from the supply chain to global car manufacturing brands. This long-term financial commitment and robust demand for UK-built products demonstrate the global appetite for high-quality, desirable products borne of the UK's world-class design, R&D and engineering."

The success of car production was not matched by that of commercial vehicles (CVs) including trucks buses and vans, which saw a sharp decline. Production fell 27.6% on last year to 6,963. Hawes added: "CV production remained subdued in September, with continuing uncertainty in the EU and restructuring of UK operations. While the overall market is striving against tough conditions, there remains cause for optimism in some areas, with the truck sector out-performing the market in September."

In addition to complete cars, the UK also has a strong automotive parts sector, where engine production is particularly important. Engine production reached 230,743 units in September, up a healthy 8.3% on the same month last year. The year to date figure was also up, rising 1.2% on last year. UK engine production is now approaching 2 million units for 2013. Engines supplied to the domestic market increased by 8.2%. Exports were down slightly but still account for 65% of production.

The figures for new car manufacturing will no doubt be a further boost to the government as they strive to put the economic downturn behind them. Strong export numbers across all sectors will also boost the balance of payments. The drop in CV production will be of more concern, though, as it is more closely related to industrial growth.

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