Bumper year for car manufacturers in the UK due to ‘continued investment’

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The first nine months of 2014 have been the best for car manufacturing for six years despite a slight dip in production last month.

A total of 1,132,017 cars were produced in the UK in the period January to September – a 0.6 per cent rise on the same period last year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

This was the best three-quarters figure since 2008 and came in spite of a 2.8 per cent dip last month compared with September last year.

Production for export fell 8.1 per cent last month, but home market production was up 17.7 per cent.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “It is testament to the strength of the automotive industry that it continues to break records - yielding the best year-to-date performance for six years and comfortably surpassing one million units.

“The continued investment by the sector into new models means the September figures took a slight dip as some plants underwent re-tooling, but it is these same new models which will help increase production volumes in the future.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The UK automotive sector is a global success story underpinned by manufacturing innovation, which is what keeps production moving.

“Just this week I announced £190 million investment in the next generation of engines made at Ford in Dagenham.

“The Government has put in place an automotive industrial strategy bolstering the UK supply chain, funding new apprenticeships and providing investment to tackle skills shortages to keep the car industry ahead of the game.”