March 2017 saw the highest volume of car production since 2000, according to the latest figures from the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
170,691 cars were built in the UK in March, up 7.3%, with overseas buyers ordering more than 76% of output.
Overseas demand also helped push overall production to a 17-year high in Q1, to 471,695 units – an increase of 7.6%. This helped offset a decline at home, with demand down -4.3% in the quarter.
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 CO2 emissions. 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.”