Automotive manufacturing

Welding robots movement in a car factory

Best month since the millennium for UK car manufacturing

British car makers produced 170,691 vehicles in March, up 7.3%, the biggest month since the turn of the millennium.

Exports continued to drive British car manufacturing in March, as demand rose 10.6% in the month, according to figures released by SMMT.

A total of 170,691 cars were built in March, up 7.3% on last year, with overseas buyers ordering more than 76% of those.

This led to the month being the biggest Q1 for 17 years, meaning a total of 471,695 units have now been produced so far in 2017, up 7.6% on 2016.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, 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 CO2emissions.

“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.”