UK car manufacturers hit 16-year production high

Car manufacturers in the UK have hit a 16-year production high in the first six months of 2016, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The data shows that close to 900,000 cars were manufactured in UK factories in the first six months to the end of June 2016 — this marks a 13 per cent rise over the number produced in the same period last year. According to the SMMT, this is the best month for car production in the UK since 2000 and follows an intense period of investment in new models to be made in the UK.

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However, the SMMT was keen to point out that the recent Brexit vote may slow production in the second half of the year. In fact, 78 per cent of the cars built in the first half of 2016 were destined for EU nations — a situation that could possibly be affected in the future depending on negotiations.

Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the SMMT, said of the current situation: “The latest increase in production output is the result of investment decisions made over a number of years, well before the referendum was even a prospect.

“These decisions were based on many factors but primarily on tariff-free access to the single market, economic stability and record levels of productivity from a highly skilled workforce. To ensure the sector’s continued growth, and with it the thousands of jobs it supports, these must be priorities in future negotiations.”