UK automotive industry quickly up to top speed

In January, car manufacturers in the UK saw a strong start to 2016 with output up 8% compared to the same month last year, according to official figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The total output of cars for the month was 137,552, which is the best January performance for eight years.

One of the reasons cited for the sterling performance was increased foreign demand for British-built cars, which saw exports grow for the sixth consecutive month with volumes up 9.7%.

The domestic market also saw strong growth, with production for UK customers growing by 2.5%.

These figures continue to build on the strength of exports from 2015 for the UK automotive industry, which saw total car production reach the highest figures for a decade at 1.6 million vehicles.

Mike Hawes, chief executive, SMMT.
Mike Hawes, chief executive, SMMT.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes commented: “January’s figures mark an encouraging start to the year for the UK car industry, following an impressive 2015.

“We expect output to continue growing in the coming years as the industry benefits from continuing investment, but much will depend on global economic and political conditions and consumer confidence.”