The number of cars built for export in the year to July increased 13.7% compared to the same period in 2015, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The export market represented 77.8% of all car production volumes, and the SMMT recorded 796,323 units built for export in the months to July 2016.
Manufacturing experienced a year-to-date increase of 12.3% resulting in 1,023,723 cars built, the best performance since 2000, and the first time 1m cars have been built in within the first seven months of the year.
July’s manufacturing figures marked the twelfth consecutive monthly increase, with 126,566 units built for a 7.6% increase on July 2015. Exports increased 6% to 101,184 units.
Domestic demand also increased in July, with output for the domestic market soaring 14.1% to 25,382. Manufacturing for the domestic market increased 7.9% to 227,400 for the YTD.
Mike Hawes, chief executive, SMMT attributed the rise in exports to the development of new car models, and stressed his view that this must continue to ensure future growth.
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Hawes said: “UK car production in 2016 is booming, with new British-built models in demand across the world. Manufacturers have invested billions to develop exciting new models and produce them competitively here in the UK.
“Future success will depend on continued new car demand and attracting the next wave of investment so Britain must demonstrate it remains competitive and open for business.”
Chris Bosworth, director of strategy at Close Brothers Motor Finance struck a more sombre tone, warning that growth may not continue and manufacturers may be soon faced with difficult decisions.
Bosworth said: “There are a number of factors which indicate that this growth may be coming to the end. Exchange rate movements make the UK a less attractive place to sell cars meaning that manufacturers are less inclined to subsidise finance on new vehicles.
“The fall in the pound from Brexit…gives UK exporters a boost. However, profits of these firms are likely to fall unless they increase prices of new vehicles – which will again reduce demand-side pressures on UK car manufacturers.”