Compared to October 2011, production figures last month were up 6.5 per cent – now at 137,028 vehicles. Similarly, year-to-date figures figures increased by 9.7 per cent against last year: a considerable boost for the UK economy.
Interestingly, it seems Brits are buying more cars built in this country, too. Our sales may only account for 14.7 per cent of the production figure, but the number of British-built cars that we bought ourselves is up 18.1 per cent against last year – perhaps helped by popular new models like the Range Rover Evoque, built near Liverpool.
Commercial vehicle production was up in October, if not year-to-date figures: dropping 6.1 per cent against last year in some cases. It’s export sales that lead the drop – 6.5 per cent lower year-to-date – while home markets also fell by 5.6 per cent.
Engines, by far our biggest export, stayed reasonably level – with a 1.2 per cent rise in October and a 0.2 per cent drop year to date. Again, export sales were to blame: dropping 6.5 per cent in October, and 12.5 per cent year-to-date.
The number of engines destined for the UK shot up, though – 15.7 per cent in October and a whopping 30.3 per cent year to date, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the total number produced in this country.
The SMMT’s chief executive Paul Everitt called on the government to pave the way for further growth. ‘The UK automotive industry got back on track in October with vehicle manufacturing up 6.4% and a 1.2% increase in engine output,’ he said.
‘Sustained, high-value investment in R&D, facilities and new products is paving the way to a prosperous future for UK automotive, but there remain significant challenges as European market demand remains weak. It is essential government continues to focus on boosting economic growth and enhancing UK competitiveness.’