14-year high for UK car manufacturing as exports boost growth

Overseas demand has driven UK car manufacturing to record levels in August, the SMMT revealed today. The industry has reported a post-Brexit export boost thanks to the lower value of sterling since the UK voted to leave the EU.

Foreign demand has boosted UK car manufacturing to record levels.

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UK car manufacturing increased 9.1% to 109,004 units in August compared with the same month in 2015 – that’s the highest summer output recorded in 14 years. In total, 1,132,727 vehicles have now rolled out of British factories in 2016, representing year-on-year growth of 12%.

81,200 of these cars were destined for export, but domestic demand for new vehicles also grew with 27,804 cars remaining on UK soil, representing an increase of 6.2%. This is thanks to the fleet sector – which includes personal and business leasing – increasing its market share and taking over from traditional, private sales.

Year-on-year UK car output (millions)

Graph showing yeay-on-year UK car output.

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Mike Hawes SMMT chairman commented: “August’s strong performance is good news for car makers and welcome news for the UK economy, which depends on this thriving sector for an increasing share of UK exports.

“In demand across the world”

“British car producers are exporting a diverse range of high quality, attractive new models that are in demand across the world thanks to multi billion pound investments made in UK plants over the past few years.”

Car manufacturers with UK-based production facilities include  Jaguar, Land Rover, Honda, Nissan, Mini, Toyota and Vauxhall. In fact, Honda’s Swindon plant is the only factory in the world to house the production line for the all-new Civic – a major car for the company that will be exported worldwide.

The new Honda Civic will be exclusively built in the UK at the company's Swindon plant.

How did the new car market defy the usual summer slump this year?

The figures will help dispel some worries about the UK’s decision to leave the EU, but the SMMT has warned that to remain globally competitive, the UK needs to secure further investment and find attractive trade deals.

Hawes commented: “Future success depends on continued investment in plant and products and that in turn depends on the UK maintaining internationally competitive business and trading conditions.”

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