Data shows that 157,056 units left UK factories in October 2017, compared to 151,795 in the same month last year – a 3.5% rise.
The SMMT says that the growth was driven by exports. In total, 128,878 units went to overseas markets, compared to 122,765 in October 2016 – a rise of 5%. However, just 28,178 units went to the home market – down 2.9% on October 2016.
Year-do-date data shows 1,416,565 units have been produced so far compared to 1,429,475 – down 1.6%.
SMMT chief Mike Hawes says: “It’s encouraging to see positive growth in exports this month and a slight increase in overall output. Production for British consumers, however, has continued to fall as domestic demand for new cars decreased for the ninth month this year amidst continued uncertainty over both Brexit and the government’s air quality plans.
“It’s important that confidence is restored to the new car market, as sales of the latest cleaner, greener cars not only address air quality concerns but speed up activity on factory lines across the UK. The latest independent UK forecast report is worrying news for the sector, predicting annual output which is, at best, static compared with last year. The industry needs stability and a clear roadmap for Brexit if we are to encourage investment and arrest the decline in both the market and business confidence.”