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April boost for UK car manufacturing as new models boost growth

31st May 2018

  • car manufacturing april 2018

UK car production rose in April, with demand growing 5.2% year-on-year, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 127,952 cars were built in British factories following a double-digit decline in the same month last year when Easter bank holiday timing impacted output. Growth, however, was also buoyed by production ramp up at several plants to deliver a number of key new and updated models.

Manufacturing for both home and overseas markets grew by 7.3% and 4.7% respectively, with 103,662 cars built for export in the month and accounting for 81.0% of production. However, year-to-date, overall output remains down, by -3.9%, with a total of 568,378 cars leaving production lines in the first four months. Four fifths of these were exported, as domestic demand fell -10.3% against a less substantial -2.2% decline in vehicles destined for global markets.

car output rolling year total

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

While April’s growth isn’t altogether surprising given the significant decline in output this time last year, it is good to see earlier planned investment into new models delivering results. However, given such investment was made on the basis of the free and frictionless trade afforded by our EU membership, the ability of UK plants to attract the next wave of new models and drive future growth depends upon maintaining these competitive conditions after Brexit. That’s why it is critical that government acts to safeguard our participation in the EU customs union and single market.


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