UK car production continues to strengthen

Mini plant in Cowley, Oxford The UK car industry has enjoyed steadily rising output

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UK car production continued to strengthen last month, industry figures have shown, with output now having passed the one million mark this year.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said production rose to 140,888 in September, up 9.9% from a year ago.

The figures means output for 2013 so far has now reached 1,125,433.

In addition, car production for the 12 months to September hit 1.5 million, the highest rolling 12-month total since October 2008.

The number of cars produced for export rose 9.3% from a year earlier, helped by high demand in China, Russia and the US for luxury British brands.

Mike Hawes, chief executive at SMMT, said the sector was "one of the UK's biggest success stories in recent years".

"This long-term financial commitment and robust demand for UK-built products show the global appetite for high-quality, desirable products borne of the UK's world-class design, R&D and engineering," he added.

However, while car output rose, production of commercial vehicles (CV) - lorries, buses, trucks and vans - fell 27.6% from a year earlier to 6,963.

"CV production remained subdued in September, with continuing uncertainty in the EU and restructuring of UK operations," said Mr Hawes.

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