Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is now UK's biggest carmaker snatching the top spot from Nissan, which had held the position since 1999. JLR's production increased by 9% year-on-year to 489,923 cars, surpassing Nissan whose production declined 4.7% year-on-year to 476,589 in 2015.
The British automotive company, which is now owned by Indian automaker Tata Motors, has three car manufacturing plants in the UK, one each at Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands and Halewood in Merseyside. Its UK employee base has doubled to 35,000 in five years.
This marks a remarkable feat for a company which almost collapsed in 2009, when it produced 158,000 cars. However since its acquisition in 2008, the Indian owner has strengthened the company by investing more than £11bn (€14.4bn, $15.6bn) into research and development.
Carmakers in the UK such as JLR, Toyota and Mini helped British car production hit a 10-year high in 2015. These figures received praise from Chancellor George Osborne, who said: "Backing Britain's car industry has been a priority for this government and today we see the industry going from strength to strength. I am hugely encouraged that manufacturing is at a 10-year high and exports are at a record level. All this means jobs and the security of a pay packet for workers and their families."
The increased numbers were achieved despite the China slowdown, thanks to the US becoming the single biggest export market for the UK, accounting for 10.9% of the overall car exports, overtaking China's 7%. However the demand from the European Union remained the biggest, accounting for 57.5% of UK car exports.
Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders that produced the figures, said: "Despite export challenges in some key markets such as Russia and China, foreign demand for British-built cars has been strong, reaching record export levels in the past year," according to The Guardian.