SMMT News UK Manufacturing

Best month since 2000 for UK car manufacturing as exports drive production demand

27 April 2017 #SMMT News #UK Manufacturing
  • British car makers produced 170,691 vehicles in March, up 7.3%, the biggest month in 17 years.1
  • One car exported every 20 seconds in March with export demand up 10.6% on previous year.
  • Biggest Q1 for 17 years2 for UK car manufacturing with 471,695 units produced so far in 2017, up 7.6%.

Exports continued to drive British car manufacturing in March, as demand rose 10.6% in the month, according to figures released by SMMT. 170,691 cars were built in the UK in March, up 7.3%, with overseas buyers ordering more than 76% of output.

Overseas demand also helped push overall production to a 17-year high in Q1, to 471,695 units – an increase of 7.6%. This helped offset a decline at home, with demand down -4.3% in the quarter.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

UK car manufacturing is accelerating thanks to billions of pounds of investment committed over the past few years. A large proportion are the latest low emission diesels and it’s essential for future growth and employment that we encourage these newer, cleaner diesels onto UK roads and avoid penalising consumers who choose diesel for its fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. Much of our output goes to Europe and it’s vital we maintain free trade between the UK and EU or we risk destroying this success story.


  1. March 2000 – 183,787 cars built in the UK
  2. Q1 2000 – 490,648 cars built in the UK

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