UK car manufacturing rises in first halfReuters

The British automotive sector enjoyed a robust first half with car production rising 3.5% to 791,314 units during the period, thanks to new models introduced by several manufacturers.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said car production increased 3.7% to 136,419 units in June, due primarily to a 16.5% growth in production for the domestic market. Meanwhile, production for export rose by 0.5% to 105,887 units.

So far in 2014, manufacturers have produced more than 790,000 cars, up 3.5% from the same period last year. Manufacturing for the home market rose 1.9% to 165,855 units, while that for exports increased 4% to 625,459 units.

Car manufacturingJun-13Jun-14% ChangeYTD-13YTD-14% Change

Source: SMMT

The association noted that the industry benefited from a raft of new car models with more expected in the coming months. New models launched during the last 12 months include Honda's estate Civic Tourer and a new version of Nissan's Qashqai SUV.

"UK car production continued its steady growth in June, leading to a first half-year increase of 3.5%," said Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO.

"With several manufacturers having started assembly of new models this year and billions of pounds of investment still to reach production fruition, this is an exciting time for the UK automotive sector."

Hawes, however, cautioned that Britain needs to address issues such as inadequate domestic supply chain to sustain the growth.

"With this growth comes a need to bolster the domestic supply chain and address major skills shortages; both of which the UK industry is committed to addressing."

SMMT earlier reported that new car registrations in the UK rose 6.2% on year in June and 10.6% for the first half, as consumer demand for efficiency boosted sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles.

It also said the UK car market is on track to achieve 2.4 million registrations in 2014, up more than 6% on the previous year. However, growth in the industry is apparently stabilising.