There was a record 90.2% rise in UK car production last month - the fifth successive month of growth.
Output for both the home and export markets increased, with home production more than doubling, accounting for 27.6% of output during the first quarter.
Commercial vehicle output also rose by 61.6% and UK engine production increased by 43.6%.
“UK automotive production continued to make progress in March with strong growth in commercial vehicle, engine and car production,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt.
“Headline figures highlight the scale of challenges faced this time last year, but also demonstrate a steady improvement in demand in home and export markets."
However, the industry will continue to face tough market conditions now the scrappage scheme has closed and the continuing limited access to finance and credit for consumers and businesses.
"But a solid exchange rate and the world class competitiveness of the UK industry should help to sustain demand over the longer term," said Everitt.