Belfast Telegraph

Car industry shifts up a gear ahead of budget

By Peter Woodman

Car and commercial vehicle production accelerated sharply last month, according to new figures.

Car production in the UK increased 62.7% compared with February 2009, when the industry was stuck firmly in recession, official figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed.

Commercial vehicle production rose even higher last month — increasing 74.2%.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: “The fourth month of consecutive growth in new car production is encouraging news for industry.

“Manufacturers and government need to work together to ensure that there is continued investment in new products and technology to sustain future growth.”

He went on: “Sterling movement has made UK-built |products more competitive, enabling the UK to work through challenging economic conditions.

“UK-built engines and vehicles are exported to over 100 markets worldwide, offering some resilience to local market conditions.

“Industry looks to next week's Budget to maintain stability in demand through continued investment in new products.”

Almost 100,000 cars were produced in the UK last month, most of which were exported. Just over 10,000 commercial vehicles were made in the same period.

The encouraging figures come shortly after confirmation that new registrations rose for the eighth month in a row as drivers traded in vehicles.

Belfast Telegraph