Car production rates see major rise in December

The strong performance of the motor industry in December 2009 has been underlined by a benchmark increase in vehicle production rates last month.

New statistics published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that 85,316 vehicles were produced in the final month of last year.

This represents a year-on-year increase of 58.5 per cent, the largest such rise since May 1976.

It comes after SMMT figures earlier this month showed that new car registrations in December were also up by 38.9 per cent, which the body credited in part to the scrappage scheme.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of SMMT, welcomed the figures as evidence of “greater stability” in the automotive sector both in the UK and overseas.

However, he urged caution ahead of what he predicted will be an “extremely challenging” 2010, saying: “Car and commercial vehicle production remain well below pre-recession levels and it is essential that there continues to be a focus on creating more and better priced finance.”

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