EXPORTS continued to drive British car manufacturing in March, as demand rose 10.6 per cent in the month, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
A total of 170,691 cars were built in the UK in March, up 7.3 per cent, with overseas buyers ordering more than 76 per cent of output.
Overseas demand also helped push overall production to a 17-year high in quarter one, to 471,695 units – an increase of 7.6 per cent. This helped offset a decline at home, with demand down by 4.3 per cent in the quarter.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: ‘UK car manufacturing is accelerating thanks to billions of pounds of investment committed over the past few years.
‘A large proportion are the latest low-emission diesels and it’s essential for future growth and employment that we encourage these newer, cleaner diesels onto UK roads and avoid penalising consumers who choose diesel for its fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.
‘Much of our output goes to Europe and it’s vital we maintain free trade between the UK and EU or we risk destroying this success story.’
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