UK car manufacturing got off to a strong start in 2016 with output in January up 8% compared with the same month last year, with 137,552 cars produced, making it the best January performance for eight years.
The SMMT said increased foreign demand for British-built cars saw manufacturing for export grow for the sixth consecutive month with volumes up 9.7%.
Meanwhile, production for UK customers grew 2.5%, which it said was an indication of the strong state of the domestic market.
The performance follows a record year for exports in 2015, with total car production reaching 1.6 million – the highest in a decade.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, 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.”