UK car production at at 10-year high

UK car production volumes reached a 10-year high at the end of October, latest figures have shown.

The first 10 months of the year saw 1,318,452 vehicles roll off the production lines, an increase of 2.8% – or 36,000 vehicles – on last year (2014: 1,282,080). The figure is the best since 2005.

Domestic volumes were up 9.7% to 309,076 (2014: 281,791) and exports were also up, although by a more modest 0.9% to 1,009,376 (2014: 1,000,289).

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) opted to dwell on the positive as figures for October showed volumes down compared with the same month last year.

This year, 148,976 cars were produced in October, a fall of 0.7% of last year (150,060). The figures were more dramatic for the home market, which saw an 8.3% fall to 31,078 (2014: 33,895).

The figures for export were more encouraging, with 117,898 cars destined for overseas markets, an increase of 1.5% (2014: 116,165).

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Despite a small drop in overall output last month, the industry has delivered a robust performance so far this year, particularly in terms of exports. Given the slowdown we’ve seen in several key global markets in recent months, UK automotive manufacturing still remains in a strong position.”