Car production hits seven-year high
The number of cars built in the UK reached a seven year high of more than 1.5 million in 2014, with a new car rolling off a production line every 20 seconds.
A hugely successful year for the industry ended with the strongest December in a decade, with 108,000 cars produced last month.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said there was a 1.2% increase in vehicle production in 2014 compared with the previous year.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "Placed in context, a 1.2% growth in UK car manufacturing in 2014 represents a very successful year.
"The industry has overcome various challenges, including slower than expected EU recovery and weakness in some global markets.
"More than £7 billion of investment into UK production facilities has been announced in the past two years, and we are now seeing the effects as new models begin production - with more expected in 2015.
"UK car manufacturing is now more diverse than ever, with a unique combination of volume, premium and specialist brands giving our products truly global appeal. This is epitomised by the doubling of car export values in the decade from 2005 to 2014."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "These production figures are testament to the strength of our automotive industry, and show that even in tough economic conditions it continues to be one of the driving forces behind our economic recovery. From Sunderland to Goodwood, Britain is turning out cars that are in demand all around the world.
"The UK's automotive industry is thriving with a new car rolling off the production line every 20 seconds, while increasing levels of investment are helping to secure local jobs. Through the Government's industrial strategy we are backing the automotive industry as it goes from strength to strength."
Almost four out of five new cars built in the UK in 2014 were exported, slightly down on the previous year, amid "challenges" in some export markets, said the SMMT.
Nissan's factory in Sunderland built the most cars last year (500,238), followed by Jaguar Land Rover's plants in Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull (449,507), the Mini site at Cowley, Oxford (178,993), Toyota at Burnaston, Derby (172,215), Honda at Swindon (121,799) and Vauxhall at Ellesmere Port (77,836).