The rise, announced by the Office of National Statistics, was greeted as “encouraging” by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, although total car production was down by more than 10%, following a 22.2% decline in export orders.
The SMMT has predicted that 1.55 million new cars will have been manufactured in Britain by the end of 2001, slightly below last year. Chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: “The increase in output for the home market is encouraging news.
“Strong orders for new UK produced cars and expansion into foreign markets should ensure that this is matched by long term gains in export output, too, provided economic conditions improve.”
Year to date, total car production was down 19% to 497,877 units - a shortfall of 116,439 against April, 2000. Overall commercial vehicle production was also down, although April output for the home market was up by 16.7%.