SMMT reports on UK vehicle output

Car production in the UK fell 30.9 per cent in 2009 compared to the previous year, according to a report released on 22 January by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

However, the report also indicated that car output dramatically rose in the month of December alone by 58.5 per cent — the biggest rise since May 1976. Commercial vehicle output also rose that month for the first time in 17 months.

‘The significant rise in December vehicle production is welcome news and signals some greater stability across global automotive markets,’ said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt. ‘We expect the year ahead to be extremely challenging, but the return of economic growth and a competitive exchange rate will help UK producers. Car and commercial vehicle production remains well below pre-recession levels and it is essential that there continues to be a focus on creating more and better-priced finance for businesses and consumers.’

The SMMT also revealed that UK engine manufacturers produced 2,053,456 engines in 2009, and 74.3 per cent of these engines were exported. More than half of these engines were petrol, while only 37 per cent were diesel.

‘Despite the severe impact that the recession has had on the country’s economy, there were twice as many engines built in the UK than new cars,’ Everitt said. ‘Most importantly, this underlines the significant role the UK plays in global automotive manufacturing and demonstrates the sheer scale of the motor industry in the UK.’