UK car output hits 17-year high

Last year saw a 17-year high in the number of cars built in the UK, official SMMT records have revealed. In 2016, 1.7 million cars came off the production line, up 8.5 per cent on the year before.

Demand from overseas has helped to drive this increase with more than 1.3 million cars destined for export to over 160 countries. The manufacture of premium brands has helped make the UK the second biggest producer of premium cars after Germany.

According to SMMT, growth in production was largely driven by overseas demand, with global appetite for British-built cars rising by 10.3 per cent to 1,354,216. Around eight out of every 10 cars manufactured in the UK is now exported, bound for one of 160 markets worldwide.

SMMT_car exports

SMMT said that continuing economic recovery across Europe accounted for the bulk of the growth. Exports to the rest of the EU grew 7.5 per cent to 758,680 and accounted for more than half of all UK car exports. The organisation added that with Europe supplying the majority of components within UK-built vehicles, tariff and barrier-free trade remain crucial to future UK automotive production.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “Our modern industrial strategy will make the UK one of the most competitive places in the world to grow a business and these figures show why the UK automotive sector has such a vital role to play as we build on our strengths and extend excellence into the future. We are providing long-term investment and support, so that all our auto companies, and the vital supply chain it supports, can strive for even greater success in 2017.”

Jaguar Land Rover was named the largest automotive manufacturer in Britain, accounting for more than 30 per cent of all domestic car production last year. The company’s three manufacturing plants in Liverpool and the West Midlands increased its UK production output 8 per cent over the previous year to 544,401.