New models drive growth of UK car manufacturing sector

Demand for new cars increases 5.2 per cent year on year, with UK car production rising in April.

127,952 cars were built in British factories in April following a double-digit decline in the same month last year. This figure is propped up by an increase in production across a number of key plants tasked with delivering new and updated models.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) report show growth in manufacturing for both the UK (7.3 per cent) and overseas markets (4.7 per cent), with 103,662 cars built for export in the month of April.

Despite these positive figures, overall output remains in the negative territory, down -3.9 per cent, with a total of 568,378 cars leaving production lines in the first four months of the year. Demand from the UK market fell -10.3 per cent, against a small decline in demand from overseas markets at 2.2 per cent.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the SMMT, says: “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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