Empty order books, but encouraging growth

Posted on 22 Sep 2011 by The Manufacturer

The automotive industry in particular picked up its pace in August - car manufacturing increased, as did CV output and engine production.

Providing small relief from the cascade of bad news and growing fears of a double dip recession, the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today published figures that showed car manufacturing rose 10.7% in August and is up 4.4% over the first eight months of 2011. Engine production rose 14.4% in August, and is up 4.8% over the first eight months of the year, while CV output was up by 9.3% in August – but remains down 4.0% over the January-August period.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, commented on the statistics: “A manufacturing-led recovery is taking shape with the August automotive output up more than 10% and a recent wave of private investment securing long-term growth for the UK sector.”

He called on government to maintain its support in the form of encouragement and incentivising private sector investment in R&D, skills and capital equipment, so that the UK supply base “keeps its momentum”.

Commenting on what he called the “impressive” British automotive industry, Business Minister Mark Prisk said: “Today’s car production figures are great news for the automotive sector.”

“Last week I visited the Frankfurt motor show where it was clear that more and more companies are planning long term investment here. With 75% of cars made in the UK being exported abroad the automotive industry will play a pivotal role in growing our economy.”

The CBI predicted that growth in the sector would continue despite “disappointing” order books for September. As demand slackens, the CBI expects output to grow.

Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser, said: “UK manufacturers report some slackening in demand this month, following the volatility in financial markets and the slowdown in growth in our major trading partners. As a result, firms now say stock levels are high relative to expected demand.

George Archer