UK car production jumps to highest in eight years

Mini on production line
Image caption SMMT figures now show both production and sales of cars in the UK rose in May

Car production in the country rose to its highest since 2004, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Industry figures showed the number of cars built was 42% higher in May this year compared with 2011.

UK factories produced 141,146 cars.

The SMMT said output was 17.3% higher so far this year compared with last year, partly because output last year was interrupted by the Japanese tsunami.

The chief executive of the SMMT, Paul Everitt, said: "This boost, coupled with robust year-to-year results, demonstrates the strength of the UK automotive manufacturing industry and shows why it continues to attract high levels of international investment."

Last week, the SMMT reported a jump in car sales for May.

UK new car sales jumped to 162,288, a 7.9% rise compared with May 2011, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It was the largest percentage increase in registrations for 23 months, thanks largely to a 14.3% increase in private sales.

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