Figures show the UK’s car production racing ahead

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THE FUTURE is looking brighter for the face of manufacturing in the United Kingdom.

A demand from Europe has fuelled a big increase in car production on home soil, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT).

Statistics reveal a total of 142,158 cars were manufactured in the UK in March – a 12 per cent rise on the March 2013 figure.

Last month’s figure bought the year-so-far production total to nearly 405,000 – a 2.9 per cent increase on the January to March total last year.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The 12 per cent growth in UK car production in March 2014 is a significant step forward after a period of product changes at the start to the year,.

“After several years in the doldrums, European demand for new cars is now picking up, with growth in the last seven months.

“This is a welcome boost for the UK’s volume manufacturers for whom Europe is the key market.

“As new models are launched and investments realised, the sector remains on course for all-time record levels of output by 2017.”

And it is not only car production which is accelerating in the manufacturing industry.

Factory orders are growing at their fastest rate for nearly two decades – as Bank of England policymakers said the UK’s economic recovery was “building momentum”.

The Confederation of British Industry’ (CBI) trends survey found that in the three months to April, growth in total order books and domestic orders was the strongest since 1995.

Exports also grew strongly while investment intentions for the year ahead were ‘particularly robust’, the figures showed, and jobs rose at the strongest rate since October 2011.

Business optimism among manufacturers saw its sharpest improvement since 1973, the survey of 405 firms found.

Katja Hall, the CBI’s chief policy director, said: “Confidence is rapidly rising among British manufacturers.”