The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the industry had enjoyed a "strong start" to 2016, continuing its impressive performance in recent years.
Exports rose for the sixth month in a row - up by almost 10% in January compared with the same month in 2015 - showing increased foreign demand for British-built cars.
The SMMT recorded a record year for exports in 2015, while car production reached a 10-year high of 1.6 million.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "January's figures mark an encouraging start to the year for the UK car industry, following an impressive 2015.
"We expect output to continue growing in the coming years as the industry benefits from continuing investment, but much will depend on global economic and political conditions and consumer confidence."
A total of 137,552 cars were built in January, 8% more than the same month last year.