CV output fell slightly by 2.7 per cent in February, down 2.0 per cent over the first two months of the year, while UK engine production increased by 3.6 per cent and 4.3 per cent over the year-to-date.
‘Car manufacturing rose 23.5 per cent in February maintaining the trend of strong export-led growth and confirming the importance of manufacturing to a rebalanced and prosperous economy,’ said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.
‘The UK automotive sector continues to attract investment and generate new jobs. Despite recent success there can be no complacency and it is essential the Chancellor uses next week’s Budget to deliver on its growth strategy and boost the UK’s competitiveness by encouraging private sector investment in R&D, capital equipment and skills.’
John Leech, head of automotive at KPMG, said: ‘The UK auto sector continues to power ahead. This trend is being supported by export-led growth from the emerging markets through premium car manufacturers.
‘Recent announcements of major investments by Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan have instilled further confidence into car manufacturing companies in the UK and their supply chains. We expect further volume gains in the months ahead.
‘However, a major concern for many car companies is around the availability of skilled engineers. Debt and equity finance which at the moment is constrained is also becoming a worry for the industry.’