Published: Fri, January 27, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

United Kingdom auto production reaches 17-year high

The reduction to £1.66 billion, against around £2.5 billion in both the previous two years, took the shine off the announcement that 1.722 million cars rolled off assembly lines last year.

British vehicle production reached a 17-year high last year, but the country's vote to leave the European Union contributed to a roughly 33 percent drop in investment in the sector, a auto industry body said on Thursday. But the SMMT's statement sounded a note of caution after revealing that investment by the industry fell to £1.66bn last year, compared with about £2.5bn in recent years.

The UK's largest automotive plant, Nissan in Sunderland, built more than half a million cars in 2016.

Economic recovery in Europe was also a factor, with exports to European Union countries rising by 7.5 per cent to 758,680 cars.

However, while fears of a predicted Brexit bounce are yet to materialise, the SMMT has voiced its concerns over the future and falling levels of investment.

SMT's chief executive is now predicting that auto production in the United Kingdom will reach an all-time high before 2020.

United Kingdom vehicle manufacturing hit a record high in 2016, new figures have shown - just as auto manufacturers slashed the amount they invested in the UK.

Growth was driven by overseas demand, with sales of British-built cars rising by 10.3 per cent to an all-time high of nearly 1.4 million.

"High class engineering, advanced technology and a workforce committed to quality have helped turn around the industry, making the United Kingdom among the most productive places in Europe to make cars".

The number of cars made in the United Kingdom reached a 17-year high last year, according to the industry's trade body.

"We want trade deals, but they must be the right deals, not rushed deals".

"Our modern industrial strategy will make the United Kingdom one of the most competitive places in the world to grow a business and these figures show why the United Kingdom automotive sector has such a vital role to play as we build on our strengths and extend excellence into the future".

One in seven new cars registered in Britain was built here, up from one in eight three years ago.

Ten brand new auto models began production in the United Kingdom past year, nine of them from premium brands, which has helped make the United Kingdom the second biggest producer of premium cars after Germany and the third biggest vehicle producer in Europe.

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