Car production for UK down 20%

Car production slowed a little last month, according to official figures.

SMMT boss Mike Hawes said UK car manufacturing has been broadly stable over the first two months of the year
SMMT boss Mike Hawes said UK car manufacturing has been broadly stable over the first two months of the year

A total of 133,730 cars were made in the UK in February - 2.7% fewer than in February 2013, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

Cars made for the export market rose 3.5% last month, but manufacturing for the home market was down 20.8%.

The SMMT said it reckoned the value of an average car exported has risen by more than 70% since 2007 to more than £20,000.

The latest figures mean that car production for the first two months of this year has dipped 1.4% compared with the total achieved in January and February 2013.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "UK car manufacturing has been broadly stable over the first two months of 2014, dipping only marginally due to forecast product cycle changes.

"The significant increase in the value of car exports in recent years reflects the changing profile of the models produced and underlines the sector's economic importance.

"With the effects of recent investments still to be fully realised, the industry looks forward to providing an even greater contribution to the UK economy in the future."

Commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturing output fell 22.1% in February 2014 to 6,235 units. This marked the eighth successive monthly drop and left year-so-far volumes down 18.4% compared with the first two months of 2013.

Mr Hawes said: "Early signs of a recovering European market are a glimmer of good news for UK CV manufacturers still feeling the effects of subdued demand and industry restructuring.

"There are still tough months ahead while we work through the pain of the past few years, but if growth in mainland Europe strengthens, there may be light at the end of the tunnel."