UK car manufacturing surged in January, rising 15.6% on a year ago and hitting a 16 month high, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Production for the domestic market grew faster than production for the export market, rising 31.6% on the year compared with 12.9% for export production. The bulk of UK car manufacturing is for export, accounting for 83.4% of January’s total.
These data add to a raft of evidence that UK economic activity picked up markedly in January. The Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply index broke above the 50 contraction/expansion level in January, rising to 52.1 from a revised from 49.7 in December.
SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt hailed the rise in production, saying in a BBC radio interview that it showed the UK automobile industry can compete in international markets.