Belfast Telegraph

UK car industry 'thriving' with more than a million vehicles exported this year

Car exports have passed the one million mark this year, offsetting a decline in production for the UK market, new figures show.

Almost 160,000 vehicles were built last month, an increase of 0.9% compared to last September, with exports topping 120,000.

The export figure was 5% higher than a year ago, compared with a 10% decline in production for the home market.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said car production for global markets had increased for 14 months in a row.

Just over a million cars have been built for export so far this year, the highest since records began in 1995.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "British-built cars are in demand across the world as demonstrated by the double-digit growth in exports this year, resulting in more than a million cars produced for international markets.

"The vast majority of cars manufactured here in the UK are destined for abroad and future growth will depend on securing our international competitiveness and the barrier-free access to major global markets that has enabled the UK automotive industry to thrive."

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: "The UK automotive sector has had a remarkable year, exporting over one million cars all around the world.

"This is thanks to our highly-skilled workforce, the strong partnership between Government and industry and long-term investment in new technology and innovation.

"The Government is committed to supporting this industry and that is why I was in Japan last week meeting automotive sector representatives and making clear the UK remains open for business."