The SMMT is warning against pessimism as newly-released figures show a fall in car production in the UK in June.
Production fell 15.3% to 132,348 units (June 2000: 156,261), according to the Office of National Statistics. Production for the home market fell by 9.6% to 50,302 (June 2000: 55,621), while output for export fell by 18.5% to 82,046 (June 2000: 100,640).
Car production to the year-to-date was down 18.2%.
SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: "The drop in car production over the first six months of the year has been disappointing but we need to guard against long-term pessimism. This is still a very exciting time for manufacturers and car buyers alike with a host of innovative British-built products like the Jaguar X-type and Mini coming on line.
"We should also remind ourselves that Nissan and Toyota's UK plants are the envy of Europe, topping the productivity table, and Honda has just announced it is to start building vehicles at its second Swindon factory. This speaks volumes about the UK's position as a global centre of car production."
The dark cloud's silver lining was the fact that CV production in June rose by 4.3% compared to last year and production for export went up by 30.3%. However, CV production for the first six months of 2001 fell by 0.7% compared to last year.