Gone in 16 seconds

UK car production in February hit a 17-year high, with double digit growth in demand for British built cars.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Traders and Manufacturers (SMMT), UK production lines turned out one car every 16 seconds in the month, with total output of 153,041 up eight per cent, as exports grew 13.4% to 118,898 units.

The performance helped to drive overall year-to-date production past 300,000 for the first time since 2002, with output rising 7.8% to 301,004 units. In the first two months of the year, exports of UK-made cars grew 12.1%, with 236,832 units shipped abroad, offsetting a decline in domestic demand of -5.6% to 64,172.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘Today’s figures illustrate the continuing global popularity of British-built vehicles and the export-led nature of the industry. With eight out of every 10 cars we produce destined for international markets – and half of those for customers in the EU – we must avoid barriers to trade, whether tariff, customs or other regulatory obstacles, at all costs. To do otherwise would damage our competitiveness and threaten the continued success of UK automotive manufacturing.’